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•Moreover, he hath left you all his walks, his private 
arbours and new-planted orchards, on this side ' 
he hath left them you, and to your heirs for 
common pleasures, to walk o broad, and recreate 
selves. Here was a Ceosar 1 when comes such ara- 

JtUvus Cfcdsar, Act xii., S. . .. 








"Moreover, he hath left you all his walks, his private 
arbours and new-planted orchards, on this side Tiber ; 
he hath left them you, and to your heirs for ever ; 
common pleasures, to walk abroad, and recreate your- 
selves. Here was a Ceesar ! when comes such another? " 
Julius Ceesar, Act m.. So. ii. 




^ All Rights Reserved 

•*: .* : : 

• • • •" • 





In undertaking this work I am complying with 
the wishes of a great number of friends, more 
especially Rhodesians, who knew " the Old Man." 

I have no intention of attempting a complete 
Life or Biography of Cecil Rhodes, but am simply 
endeavouring to convey an impression of the man 
and his work formed from what I knew of him 
and from the anecdotes I retail. 

I have had the assistance of a very few notes 
and of one or two stray documents and articles, to 
the unknown writers of which 1 tender acknow- 
ledgment, but nearly the whole is written from 

Some years ago I designed a more pretentious 
Life, for the purpose of which I had collected 
a large amount of material ; but the Rhodes 
Trustees had no faith in my discretion, and I 
abandoned the work in deference to their wishes, 
and they purchased my notes and materials. 

Sir Lewis Michell later got his colleagues to 



allow him to collect further materials for the use 
of an official biography. 

He enlarged this licence, and actually published 
a Life in two volumes ; but no more than any 
other was this an authorized Life. 

In addition to Sir Lewis Michell's work, Sir 
T. E. Fuller published a monograph and Mr. 
Philip Jourdan '' Memoirs of Rhodes's Private 
Life " ; but I do not think that a combination of 
all three constitutes a real biography, nor will it 
be easy for any one man to write a complete 
Life from his own knowledge — those having the 
capacity not having the intimate knowledge of 
Rhodes's private life necessary, and those who 
possess the knowledge lacking the capacity or 

My old friend and colleague, Charles Boyd, 
C.M.G., Rhodes's political Secretary and later 
Secretary to the Rhodes Trustees, could write 
one. His article on Rhodes in the Dictionary of 
National Biography portrays the real Rhodes ; 
but the Trustees appear to think " the Old Man's " 
time too recent for the completed story. 

Rhodes was such a many-sided personality that 
men associated with him in politics often knew 
little of his inmost thoughts on social matters, 
even though, as Sir Thomas Fuller says, they were 
" privileged to be on terms of great intimacy with 
Mr. Rhodes." 


Others, again, who were associated with him 
closely in various things, and who did not ask him 
his reasons for his actions in affairs foreign to 
their particular business and to whom he did not 
volunteer information, gathered but a one-sided 
idea of his views. 

My object is to record anything 1 know of 
interest to the public, and especially to those who 
knew Rhodes, Khodesians more particularly, and 
to present Rhodes as a human document. 

Many of the anecdotes will be recalled by others, 
and people not referred to by name will probably 
be identified. 

In dealing with Rhodes's work I have necessarily 
had to refer to South African history and South 
African affairs which I hope will have interest for 
the general public, and in writing of his private 
life I have had to speak of myself a good deal, 
but I trust that any approach to egoism will be 

Moreover, I am not without an uneasy feeling 
that I have, in some instances, perhaps ventured 
into over-deep waters ; but with all its defects I 
present my work to my readers and crave their 

Gordon le Sueur. 

Cape Town, 

January 1913. 


























INDEX . 335 







. 56 

. 190 

. 240 

. 254 



AT GROOTE SCHUUR ....,* 260 






Cecil Rhodes was frequently asked his reasons 
for first going out to Africa. 

V " Why did I come to Africa ? " he once repUed 
to a friend. " Well, they will tell you that I came 
out on account of my health, or from a love of 
adventure — and to some extent that may be true ; 
but the real fact is that I could no longer stand 
the eternal cold mutton." 

He probably intended by this to convey that 
he was tired of home, and he liked giving the 
impression that he was forced to seek his fortune, 
but the literal idea that he or any of his were 
doomed to perpetual cold mutton and a stay-at- 
home life is of course absurd. 

\\ He was the fourth son of the Rector of Bishop's 
Stortford, the Rev. F. W. Rhodes. 
^ His father was twice married, and by his first 
wife had a daughter, Elizabeth, who married a 
cousin, another Rhodes ; she and Ernest, the 
third son, being the only ones who married. 

Of his second marriage there were, in all, eleven 

^ '. . : • : ;• ' . . r _ EaRi:y history [ch. I 

children, nine of whom were sons. Two died in 

The eldest son by the second marriage was 
Herbert ; then Francis {Colonel Frank Rhodes, the 
Reformer and a distinguished soldier) ; then Ernest, 
known as " Binfield " Rhodes ; then Cecil Jqhn ; 
then Elmhirst, also a soldier ; then Arthur Montagu ; 
and, lastly, Bernard, another soldier. There were 
two sisters, Louisa and Edith. - 

The Rev. F. W. Rhodes was, as a matter 
of fact, by no means badly off, and the fact that 
he was able to put four of his sons into the army 
— one, at all events, into a crack cavalry regiment 
— disposes of the " cold mutton " theory. 

Cecil Rhodes was fond of alluding to the fact 
that his grandfather was, as he put it, " a cowkeeper 
at Dalston." " 1 believe," he would say, especially 
when any one spoke of his own ancestry, " that my 
ancestor was a keeper of cows." 

Herbert, the eldest son, died in 1879 in Central 
Africa ; his death I shall refer to later. 

Frank, the second son, entered the army (1st 
Royals) and rose to the rank of colonel. He par- 
ticularly distinguished himself at Tel-el-Kebir in 
1882 when "Ahmed Arabi, the Egyptian," was 
smashed by the British Army under Sir Garnet 
Wolseley, and he also did good service in Uganda 
He w^as one of the Reformers sentenced to death 
after the Johannesburg Crisis of 1895-6, and he 
afterwards served with Lord Kitchener • in the 
Soudan, being present at Atbara and Omdurman. 
He was for a short time Administrator of Rhodesia, 
and after Cecil's death he inherited Dalham and 


Denham near Newmarket, but after a trip to the 
Victoria Falls he contracted blackwater fever 
and died at Groote Schuur in 1903. "Frankie" 
Rhodes was a charming personality and very 
popular in London society, in which he held an 
almost unique place. A tablet was erected to his 
memory at his old school, Eton, and his is not the 
most insignificant name on the glorious roll of 
honour of the school. 

Ernest (*' Binfield "), the third son, went out to 
Australia in about 1883, after leaving the army 
with the rank of captain. He married, and later 
came to Johannesburg as manager of the Con- 
solidated Goldfields of South Africa. On his 
brother Frank's death he inherited Dalham, but 
he, too, died not long afterwards, the property 
going to his son. 

Elmhirst, the fifth son, joined the Berkshire 
Regiment, and specialized in signalling. During 
the Boer War of 1899 he was Director of 
Signalling, but left the army after the cessation of 

The next brother, Arthur Montagu, com- 
menced ostrich-farming at Oudtshoorn, but this 
undertaking was not a success, and he subsequently 
settled at Bulawayo. He had several farms on the 
Bembezi close to Bulawayo, of which he was in 
possession during the Matabele Rebellion, and on 
peace being established he put in a claim for 
mealies which had been destroyed. It amounted 
to a goodly sum, and doubt was expressed as to the 
existence of the mealies. Arthur explained that 
he lad supplied the natives with seed grain to grow 


on half shares. Cecil Rhodes had most of these 
claims submitted to him, and across his brother's 
he wrote : '' This is the most impudent claim that 
has yet been submitted." 

The youngest brother, Bernard, also became a 
soldier, but resigned not long before the Boer War 
of 1899. He rejoined, however, on the outbreak of 
hostihties. Cecil was very fond of him, but ob- 
jected to his leading what he called a useless life. 

A visitor to Groote Schuur, on first meeting 
Cecil Rhodes, told him that he knew his brother 
Bernard. " Ah, yes," said Rhodes, *' Bernard is a 
charming fellow ; he rides, shoots, and fishes ; in 
fact, he is a loafer." 

^^ The Rev. F. W. Rhodes died on February 25, 
1878, and hes buried at Fairlight. 

Of the two sisters, Louisa lived quietly at Iver, 
near Uxbridge, and Edith, who died in 1904, had 
a house in Albion Street. Both paid lengthy visits 
to South Africa. Edith was extremely like her 
brother Cecil — perhaps more like him than any of 
his brothers — and had a large share of his determined 
spirit. Careless in attire, generous to a fault, and 
sympathetic to a supreme degree, she bore many 
of his characteristics. She, like Rhodes, was 
inundated with begging letters, and many must 
have been the tales of woe poured into her 
sympathetic ears. Nor was she more expert than 
her brother in selecting suitable objects for com- 
passion. Two young men she passed on to me ,^^ 
'* most deserving cases," whom she said she woi|tn. 
vouch for. One of them took a month to embezlia, 
£250, and the other only a fortnight to acquire Jid 


unique means £160 to give him a start in business. 
Once while she was staying at the Cape she pro- 
posed to come and stay at Groote Schuur whilst her 
brother was there, but he told me to write and 
decline the pleasure, remarking, "I'm very fond of 
my sister, and it would be very pleasant to have 
her here, but I am afraid the house is not big 
enough for the two of us ! " She displayed 
splendid disregard for conventionalities, and freely 
asserted her right to independent action. More- 
over, she possessed a wonderful store of energy, 
and " had she been a man," a friend once said, 
" she, too, would have made a new country, or, if 
there were no more new countries, she would have 
built an island out in the ocean ! " She was 
immensely pleased when this remark was repeated 
to her. 

The estates at Dalston which had belonged to 
the Rhodes family were bought in by Cecil. Part 
he presented to the public for a public square, and 
the remainder was mortgaged for some £70,000 
shortly before his death, the money being required 
for the purchase of Dalham Hall and Denham, 
near Newmarket, the property of Sir Robert 
Affleck. At Dalham Rhodes only spent a week- 
end when he decided to purchase it. He hoped 
that the bracing air of Newmarket would give him 
a few more years of life which would have been 
denied to him in the heat of South Africa, and 
^before his death he strongly craved to get the fresh 
to"eezes of Newmarket, the while he panted his 
exi.eath away in the stifling heat of a Cape summer, 
he [The revenue from the Dalston estates he be- 


queathed to his family — that is, to his surviving 
brothers and sisters, with the exception of Frank, 
to whom he left Dalham and Denham with entail 
to his heirs and successors, together with a sum to 
enable him to keep up the estate. The estate, on 
Frank's death, went to the next brother, Ernest, 
who, in turn dying, passed it on to his son. 
Cecil hoped that Frank would marry and have an 
heir, but he remained a bachelor. There was a 
tradition in the Affleck family that whoever came 
into possession of Dalham would die within the 
year, and this, strangely enough, was true of Cecil 
Rhodes and his brothers Frank and Ernest. 

Cecil Rhodes was born on July 5, 1853, at 
Bishop's Stortford, and his early youth does not 
seem to have been distinguished by anything 
remarkable, nor does he appear to have given early 
promise of particular ability or of future briUiance. 
He was healthy enough, though not particularly 
athletic. He preferred to spend long hours quietly 
by himself or in the company of his eldest brother, 
Herbert, to whom he was devoted. 

After a more or less uneventful school career he 
proceeded to Oriel College, Oxford. He was un- 
decided as to his future vocation ; and although he 
was at this time intended for the Church, he also 
attended a few terms at the Inner Temple. He 
continued his reading at Oxford until 1870, when 
he developed a slight lung affection, and on account 
of which he was ordered a long sea voyage. He 
thereupon went out to Natal to join his favourite 
brother, Herbert, who was coffee-planting there. 



In 1870, the year that Cecil Rhodes came out to 
Natal, the first diamond rush occurred to Kim- 
berley, and Herbert Rhodes, inspired by the 
reports of the great diamond finds and tired of 
farming, made his way to "the fields," and from 
there he wrote to his brother to join him : Cecil 
did so in 1872. The brothers worked a claim 
together at Colesberg Kop until 1874, but Her- 
bert's roving spirit took him towards the North, 
and he left the diamond-fields and made his way 
to Central Africa, where he met an awful end in 
1879, being burnt to death on the Shird River. 
He was pouring out a drink from a demi-john 
of gin when a spark from his pipe ignited the 
spirit, causing the demi-john to explode and set 
his clothing alight. He rushed to the river and 
jumped in, but succumbed to his injuries shortly 
afterwards. Cecil was much aggrieved at a friend 
of his father's holding up Herbert's death as a 
warning against drink. 

It was undoubtedly from his brother Herbert, 
as Rhodes often said himself, that he first became 
imbued with his great ideas of acquiring the 


hinterland of the southern colonies for the 
British Empire. Herbert was strongly inspired 
by the idea of expansion northwards that after- 
wards induced his brother to pass his hand over 
the map of Africa and say, *' Africa all Red ; that 
is my dream." 

Rhodes felt Herbert's death very keenly, and in 
after-years had a tombstone erected to his memory 
over his grave in Central Africa. 

Cecil Rhodes's experiences as a digger were 
much the same as those of the others, but he often 
referred to the luck that followed him on the 
fields. He used to tell a story of his giving a 
picnic on the Vaal River to a number of friends. 
The cost of this picnic was £40, and after luncheon 
he walked down to the river, where amongst the 
pebbles he picked up a diamond which in Kim- 
berley he sold for just £40. 

He once told me a story of his having, in 1876, 
had a contract for pumping a mine dry, and he 
was left in charge of the engine. He did not 
understand steam, and suddenly he heard the 
engine safety-valve hissing, and after one look 
he turned and fled for his life, leaving the engine 
to its fate. 

At Kimberley the first great event of his life 
evolved — the amalgamation of the diamond dig- 
gings and the formation in 1888 of the De Beers 
Consolidated Mines, Ltd., one of the greatest 
and wealthiest private corporations the world has 
ever known, the powers granted under its articles 
of association being practically unlimited. 

He went backwards and forwards to Oxford 

1870-88] "BARNEY BARNATO" 9 

several times from Kimberley. He only matricu- 
lated in 1873, but in 1881 took his degrees of B.A. 
and M.A. It was in 1877, on one of his journeys 
back to Kimberley, that Sir Charles Warren, who 
was a fellow-passenger in the post-cart, saw him 
studying a small book, and on inquiry found it was 
the Book of Common Prayer. 

It was at Kimberley that Rhodes became asso- 
ciated with the late Barnett Isaacs, who called 
himself Barnato Isaacs Barnato, and was familiarly 
known as " Barney." The latter, a Jewish digger, 
half prize-fighter and half music-hall artiste, had a 
peculiar faculty in one direction, and that was 
money-making. Gardner Williams said of him in 
" South Africa " that '' one could scarcely have cast 
him in any society or any place on earth where his 
nimble wits would not have won him a living." 

As a preliminary tp amalgamation, Rhodes had 
formed a small combination of interests in 1880 
called the De Beers Diamond Mining Company, 
and Gardner Williams records an interesting fact, 
that one of the first cheques was one of £5, drawn 
by Rhodes as an advance against his salary as 

Rhodes and Barnato soon came to loggerheads, 
for " Barney " was supposed to represent the illicit 
diamond-buyers in the community. He was of 
course representing various interests, and had 
formed the Central Diamond Mining Company, 
and had to be considered in the amalgamation, 
albeit Rhodes had bought large interests in the 
companies Barnato represented. The actual facts 
of the negotiations with " Barney " are not of 


supreme importance, but the following curious 
story has been very widely accepted as true : 
Rhodes and his people were for a long time unable 
to come to terms with ** Barney " and his faction. 
The former had for some time been negotiating 
with the Rothschilds with the view to the con- 
solidation of the mines, which he knew to be vital 
to the existence of the diamond trade. He knew 
that if individual diggers could sell their diamonds 
as they pleased it meant a death-blow to the 
diamond industry, and that its salvation lay in 
control of the output being obtained, and to this 
end Brazilian properties were, later on, acquired by 
De Beers and closed down. The peculiar market 
for stones necessitated regulation of the supply, 
and an amalgamation of the various interests only 
could prevent the unrestricted sale of diamonds. 
Rhodes required some weeks to complete his 
arrangements for the formation of his great trust, 
but Barnato had a large stock of diamonds ready 
sorted for the market (any one who knows any- 
thing of diamonds is aware of the number of classes 
into which the stones have to be sorted for sale). 
Barnato threatened to place these stones on the 
market at once unless his terms were agreed to. 
The placing of these stones before Rhodes's 
negotiations were complete would have been 
ruinous, and had to be prevented at any cost. A 
meeting was arranged, and the scene must have 
been picturesque with " Barney " sitting with a 
complacent smile, master of the situation, Rhodes, 
with the impatience he never could conceal, stamp- 
ing in abortive rage, and Alfred Beit nervously 


twitching with the sway of the pendulum, whilst 
in parcels on sheets of white paper on a side-table 
lay the carefully sorted stones, unconscious cause 
of all the turmoil. In the midst of a discussion 
Rhodes rose, and taking Barnato by the arm 
walked him up and down the room, and then to 
the side-table where the stones lay, and said, 
" Barney, have you ever seen a bucket-full of 
diamonds ? / never have. I'll tell you what I'll 
do. If these diamonds will fill a bucket, I'll take 
them all over from you at your price." Then, 
hardly giving him time to answer, Rhodes swept 
the stones into a bucket standing handy. (How 
the bucket came to be there so opportunely history 
does not relate.) The stones did not fill it, how- 
ever, and Rhodes, with a glance round, strode from 
the room. The amalgamation was accomplished, 
for he had got the delay that he wanted, and as 
Barnato turned to face the astonished gaze of those 
seated there he only then realized that he was no 
longer a factor in the negotiations, as the re-sorting 
of his diamonds for market meant a matter of 

Whether the story is true or not, after an 
all-night sitting terms were arrived at, and the 
interests of the Central Diamond Mining Com- 
pany were bought in for De Beers for £5,338,650, 
a very useful cheque ! 

Rhodes always displayed the highest affection for 
Oxford, where he said he came in contact with the 
best of England's youth. Any Oxford man was 
sure to find himself in his good graces, and it was a 
proud day in his life when, in 1899, his old college 


I conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of 
ICivil Law. The honour was at the same time 
conferred on Lord Kitchener. At Oxford he first 
met Sir Charles Metcalfe, Rochfort Maguire, and 
Alfred (now Viscount) Milner, who were associated 
with him in his life's work. 

Sir Charles Metcalfe was his constant companion, 
and Rhodes took particular delight in his company 
on the veld. He would retail stories to Rhodes's 
great edification, and especially tales of gallantry 
and conquests which would amuse Rhodes im- 
mensely. After Sir Charles had left him, he would 
look round beaming and say, *' Do you know, I 
really think Metcalfe honestly believes those stories 
are true ! " Sir Charles, whilst being a most ener- 
getic man, and for his proportions quite athletic, 
had a most lethargic habit. After dinner he would 
put a big cigar into the corner of his mouth and 
apparently fall into deep slumber — in fact, I have 
known him go to sleep between the courses at 
dinner. When, however, he was thought to be 
fast asleep, something would be mentioned in 
which he was interested, and he would immediately 
open his eyes and take as active a part in the 
conversation as if he had attentively followed it all. 
Sir Charles threw himself into Rhodes's work with 
zest, and as Consulting Engineer to the Rhodesia 
Railways he did much to give effect to Rhodes's 
ideas for railway extension. 

On one occasion Sir Charles was speaking to me 
on the choice of a career. "Well," he said, "it 
all depends on the man himself. / wanted to be a 
lawyer, but my father said I should become a judge, 


and that every judge died of sitting too long on the 
bench, so I went in for engineering, but I have no 
doubt that had I gone in for the law I should 
have risen to the top of that profession just as I 
hav^ in the one I have adopted." 

Sir Charles rather prided himself on being a 
great judge of wine, which reminds me of a visit 
paid to Groote Schuur by a couple of men from 
Home who were said to have a nice taste in wine. 
The conversation turned on Cape wines and the 
reputation enjoyed by Cape Constantia of the 
middle of the eighteenth century. " Ah," said Sir 
Charles, " but they make a very good wine now. 
In fact, Rhodes has some in his cellar which you 
will find excellent." I then told one of the 
servants to decant a bottle of the Constantia, and 
presently he returned with it. A glass was poured 
out for each of the visitors and one for Sir Charles ; 
they tasted the wine and exclaimed on its quality, 
declaring it excellent. Sir Charles passed his glass 
before his nose two or three times in the approved 
taster's fashion to get the bouquet, and then tasted 
it. "Aha," said he, "do you note the flavour? 
Isn't it quite good stuff? The fruitiness of it — 
not the fruitiness of port, mark you, but the true 
flavour of the grape ? " 

" Really," said one of the visitors, " I had no idea 
they made such wine at the Cape." 

Just then the servant came round to me and 
said in an undertone, " I'm very sorry, sir, but 
that was the '54 Port I decanted by mistake." I 
said nothing, but told Rhodes quietly afterwards, 
and Sir Charles never heard the end of it. 


Rochfort Maguire was another Oxford friend 
who was long associated with Rhodes and his 
work. He with C. D. Rudd and F. R. Thompson 
("Matabele") went up to Bulawayo in 1888 and 
spent a considerable time at the Royal Kraal 
bongaing^ to Lo Bengula, and finally secured 
the concession upon which the British South 
Africa Company was formed. 

At Kimberley Rhodes made many friendships 
and connections which lasted throughout his life. 
Sir Julius Wernher and Alfred Beit — afterwards 
the founders of the great financial house of 
Wernher, Beit & Co. — were then fellow-clerks. 
Julius Wernher came to Kimberley in 1871 and 
Alfred Beit in 1875. Beit, a Hamburg Jew, 
diminutive in stature, weak in health, and timid 
physically to a degree, was yet a master of finance, 
and for sheer financial abilities outshone all his 
contemporaries. In common with many of his 
race he had an intense admiration for qualities 
which he felt he himself lacked, and so Rhodes's 
strength, disregard of consequences, and fearless- 
ness superlatively appealed to him, and Beit be- 
came one of the staunchest Imperialists 1 have ever 
met, and never hesitated an instant when Rhodes 
chanced to lead. 

At Kimberley, too, Rhodes became associated 
with C. D. Rudd, who was afterwards to become 
his partner in the Rudd-Rhodes Syndicate, pro- 
moters of the British South Africa Company. 

* Bongaing, lit. ''kowtowing." The warriors run up to the royal 
footstool and bonga by shouting out the king's praises in the most 
exti'avagant terms. 


C. D. Rudd became a partner of Rhodes in 1873 
in diamond-mining enterprises, and in 1886 he 
accompanied Rhodes to the Witwatersrand, where 
now stands Johannesburg. Rudd bought a fine 
estate at Newlands, " Fern wood," marching with 
Groote Schuur, but on retiring to live in England 
he sold the estate to a land syndicate, by whom it 
was cut up into lots. 

Even in these early Kimberley days Rhodes 
practised almost indiscriminate philanthropy. 

Bishop Gaul, late Bishop of Mashonaland, who 
was Archdeacon in Kimberley, used to relate that, 
when a man got ill or a family in straitened 
circumstances required a holiday to the coast, 
he had only to approach Rhodes, who, on being 
satisfied that " the case " was a deserving one, 
would ask him how much he required to provide 
for their needs, and write out a cheque for an 
amount which would provide proper treatment 
for the sick person or a sorely needed trip to the 
seaside for the distressed family. 

Rhodes's alternate on the De Beers Board of 
Directors was the late Captain Tyson, known to 
all Kimberley as " Tim." A genial nature and a 
good friend, he probably had not an enemy in the 
world. Resembling Rhodes in features, he was the 
cause of much merriment in the way he imitated 
him, even copying his hand-play and developing 
Rhodes's squeak and the falsetto notes in his 

During the Kimberley siege "Tim" Tyson 
rendered yeoman service in the commissariat 


Rhodes also met Dr. (Sir Starr) Jameson at 
Kimberley, where they were close friends. He 
was rightly looked upon as the first in his pro- 
fession in Africa, and had an enormous practice. 
He has a charming personality ; and although he 
has not the same wide circle of friends in South 
Africa as Rhodes had, there were none who got 
to know him intimately but were fascinated by his 
peculiar charm of manner. 

He has tremendous power of concentration and 
singular administrative ability. Brilliant beyond 
measure, he was only handicapped by a feeling 
acquired after the Raid that he was a failure. 
Dr. Jameson was afflicted with shyness, but, as he 
himself said, no nervousness, and he is unexcelled 
in physical courage. 

He was bored to extinction by politics, and on 
his entering the arena in 1898 it was only a strong 
sense of duty and loyalty towards Rhodes that 
induced him to stay in Africa at all, more 
especially as the Progressive Party, headed by 
Sir Thomas Fuller, objected to his candidature in 
the Progressive interest until he had in sackcloth 
and ashes in some way atoned for his crime. 
Since Rhodes 's death the same sense of loyalty 
towards his late friend kept him interested in 
affairs, and the fact that he has thrown himself 
heart and soul into work that he personally 
detests and brings him into contact with many 
people he despises, proves his strength and the 
manner of man he is. " Three acres and a cow in 
Sussex," he often said, comprised the sum-total of 
his ambitions. 


The old Kimberley community was a stranger 
mixture of humanity. They were all there with / 
one object, and that was to make money out of/ 

Most men who made fortunes did so by 
legitimate speculation, but in the community ^ 
generally to bring off a deal in illicit stones was 
rather looked on as smart business than a criminal 

There is a story told of three brothers in a 
family who had got possession of a large parcel 
of illicitly acquired stones, and they tossed up as 
to which of them should take the parcel to 

The winner started off on horseback for the 
Border, and shortly afterwards, on reflection, the 
two remaining brothers decided that they had 
acted somewhat unwisely and determined that all 
should go together. 

Hastily saddling up, they rode after and caught 
up the brother, and informed him of their decision 
that all three should go with the diamonds. 

" What diamonds ? " said he, and disclaimed all 
knowledge of any diamonds. 

Expostulations and threats had no effect upon 
him, and it was not until one of his brothers put a 
bullet into his leg that an amicable settlement was 
arrived at. 

De Beers used to have a staff of natives who 
did practically nothing but report on new finds. 
These " boys " used to live in Kimberley and 
received high wages, but as soon as a new diamond 
prospect was reported one or two of them would 


discard their European clothing and don the 
blankets of the raw native and then set off and 
apply for work at the new field. After having 
been at work for a short while, these boys would 
take their discharge or desert, and returning to 
Kimberley hand in a full report on the possibilities 
and prospects of the claims ; and in this way De 
Beers were kept fully informed of the probable 
value of every new discovery. 

Large numbers of stones were of course stolen 
in the compounds, and even here De Beers found 
it profitable to employ men to go about amongst 
the natives and buy from them stones which they 
had secreted. 

With the formation of the De Beers Consoli- 
dated Mines, Ltd., the first great work of Rhodes's 
life was completed, and he had acquired the wealth 
necessary to carry out the big ideas for northern 
expansion and time to devote to politics. He 
with Barnato, Beit, and F. S. Philipson-Stow 
were appointed life governors of De Beers, and 
they divided the profits, after deductions for divi- 
dends. The average amount so divisible was about 
£150,000 a year. Philipson-S tow's share was 
bought by Rhodes, and this left only three life 

Then, in 1897, Barnato threw himself overboard 
from the ship on which he was voyaging home to 
England and was drowned. 

This occurred towards the end of June, and the 
life governors' dividend was to be declared at the 
end of the month, and so the whole went to 
the survivors, Rhodes and Beit. 

1870-88] DEATH OF BARNATO 19 

When the news arrived, Rhodes cabled to Beit, 
saying that he had heard that Barnato's widow 
had not been left very well provided for, the bulk 
of the fortune going to Barnato Brothers, and he 
asked if Beit were wilhng that the share to which 
Barnato would ordinarily be entitled should be 
paid to the widow. Beit immediately acquiesced, 
and they agreed to forgo Barnato's share. Rhodes 
was terribly enraged when he heard afterwards 
that instead of going to the widow the amount 
was claimed by and paid to Barnato Brothers, 
especially as his private account was at the time 
largely overdrawn. It was about 11 o'clock at 
night in the train near Vryburg on the way to the 
North that I received the cable saying that Barnato 
had jumped overboard. Rhodes had retired, and 
I refrained from waking him up, and waited till the 
morning, when I took him the message. He was 
furious at my not giving it to him the night be- 
fore, and said, " I suppose you thought this would 
aiFect me and I should not sleep. Why, do you 
imagine that I should be in the least affected if you 
were to fall under the wheels of this train now ? " 
He tried to give the impression of being without 
feeling, but nothing is more absurd. He was 
crammed with sentiment to his finger-tips, but 
adopted a brutal manner and rough exterior to 
cover up the weakness of sentiment, and thus 
many a broken-hearted man and woman left him 
with the impression — entirely erroneous— that he 
was a callous brute lacking in human sympathy. 



Cecil Rhodes was a tall and powerful-looking 
man, just under six feet in height, but longer in 
the back than in the legs. He had piercing light 
steel-blue eyes and a wealth of curly locks which 
had turned grey in early life. 

In after-years he put on fat rapidly, and his face 
became florid and puffy, due doubtless to the heart 
affection and derangement of blood-vessels from 
which he suffered. He weighed in 1897 just over 
fifteen stone — about the same weight as Grimmer 
and I, Sir Charles Metcalfe being a little heavier. 
I remember Rhodes once chaffing Jack Grimmer 
about his weight, saying that owing to his and my 
indolent habits we weighed as much as he and 
Metcalfe did. " Yes," replied Jack, '* but you see, 
Le Sueur and I are hard muscle and bone, but you 
and Metcalfe are all blubber." 

It is not generally known that he was left- 
handed, and that the little finger of his right hand 
was bent at the middle knuckle, so that he could 
not straighten it. He was very sensitive about 
that little finger, and it will be seen in all his 
photographs that he is careful to keep the right 



hand covered, and those who have shaken hands 
with him will have noticed how he kept the third 
and little finger doubled up. 

As we were much of a size, Grimmer and 1 could 
wear nearly all his clothes, and we found this very 
useful on the veld, as he used to give away our 
kit to the natives, and we were able to replenish 
from his stock, and so went about with " C. J. R." 
on our shirts and socks. 

He always wore the same style of hat when on 
the veld or at Groote Schuur — a soft squash felt, 
the crown of which he would bend into a cup 
shape — a style favoured by Boer farmers. When 
he went out, he wore a peculiarly shaped brown 
bowler, and I have never seen him wear any other 

He was careless about his dress, and the ordering 
of his clothes was, as a rule, left to his valet, Antony 
de la Cruz (" Tony "), who ordered his pepper-and- 
salt tweed suits, his hats, and his white flannel 
trousers by the dozen. 

When in dress clothes, he invariably wore a black 
waistcoat, and as a rule displayed two or three 
inches of white shirt-front between the bottom of 
the waistcoat and top of the trousers. 

He nearly always wore ties of similar pattern — 
a sailor-bow of blue with white spots — and he 
invariably wore buttoned boots. When travelling, 
" Tony " used to carry two large kit-bags of clothes, 
but " the Old Man " would make a favourite of 
one particular coat and wear it day after day. 
On our way to Salisbury in 1897 he one day burnt 
a large hole in the front of a favourite old coat. 

22 THE MAN RHODES [ch. hi 

which was, moreover, splashed in front with grease 
— in fact, a good subject for the rag-picker s basket. 
Arrived at Salisbury, however, he told me to send 
the coat to the tailor and have it cleaned and 
mended. I did so, and received it back the next 
day with the following note : 

"Dear Sir, — Herewith the Right Honourable 
C. J. Rhodes's coat uncleaned and unmended. 
We regret that all we can do with the garment 
is to make a new coat to match the buttons." 

On another occasion on the veld a very cold 
snap came on one evening, and I felt the need 
of a coat, for, as a rule, 1 spent the day in shirt- 
sleeves. I did not own a coat at the time, how- 
ever, Rhodes having disposed of my kit " in 
gratuities." Accordingly I went across to Tony, 
and after a search through one of the Old Man's 
kit-bags I selected one partly worn, but which I 
had not seen him wear. Arrayed in this, I joined 
Rhodes at dinner, and he, suddenly stopping with 
his soup-spoon raised half-way to his mouth, 
said, '* Why, you've got my coat on ! " " Nothing 
of the sort," said I. " You have got my coat on," 
he said, rising and coming round to my side of the 
little camp-table, " and damn it, it is my best coat 
tool Come here ; come and take it off; I'll give 
you another one." Leaving his dinner, he marched 
off to Tony's wagonette, where he rummaged 
through a kit-bag and produced a brand new coat, 
which he handed over to me, saying, " There you 
are — you can have this ; but I don't want you to 
wear my best coat." 

Amongst us, his " young men," we always spoke 

1 897] "THE OLD MAN" 23 

of him as " the Old Man " or " the Chief," and 
many of his colleagues dropped into the habit. 
Even Captain Penfold, who was many years his 
senior, used to talk of him as " the Old Man." I 
remember once on my way up to Bulawayo I saw 
Penfold at Kimberley, and he said, " Well, how is 
the Old Man ? " 1 started teasing him by saying, 
" Well, I shouldn't care to be in your shoes ; he's 
simply mad about De Beers' cutting off supplies, 
and he is coming up next week just to talk to the 
directors." Poor Penfold was quite distressed. 
" No, hang it, no, I can't stand any more," he said ; 
" I'm going to chuck it ; I'll resign and clear out. 
I can't stand it any longer," and that was about 
the way in which the directors felt about "the 
Old Man." 

When talking at table, he had a habit of leaning 
forward on his elbows, now and again passing his 
hand over his face with a lightning rub, and then 
he would, in making a reply, sit bolt upright and 
throw his head back with a smile, putting his 
cigarette down on the table-cloth. 

He would often walk up and down in pyjamas, 
and then he would rub his hands up and down his 
ribs, and at other times when dressed he would 
stick his hands down inside his trousers. (He 
seldom wore a waistcoat.) 

When interested or amused, he would give a 
sort of preliminary whine — like a long-drawn-out 
M — and on occasion his voice would go off into 
a sort of falsetto, especially if he were angry or 

He never cared for jewellery, and never wore 


even a watch. His watches and such articles of 
jewellery as he possessed were kept locked away 
in a plate closet. 

In walking he took a quick short step ; his toes 
turned in, and he seemed almost to tread upon his 
own feet. His hands he carried either thrust into 
his jacket pockets or one hand in his pocket and 
the other with closed fingers sharply swinging. 

So much has been written about the question of 
drink that one must perforce say something about 
it, though it is a subject that might well have been 
left alone. 

Rhodes has been called an habitual drunkard, 
and it has been stated time and again by more 
moderate detractors that he frequently drank to 

Rhodes was no drunkard. In the old Kimberley 
mining days, as in all new and rough communities 
of the sort, where most of the possessors of sudden 
and easily acquired wealth knew of no loftier use 
to which to put it than indulgence in various forms 
of vice, hard drinking was much more the rule 
than the exception. It would be strange, indeed, 
if Rhodes, working as an ordinary miner as he did, 
did not " do his whack " with the rest, especially as 
his heart trouble would naturally incline him to 

He liked his champagne in a tumbler, and at 
lunch or at dinner had a habit of tossing off the 
glass absent-mindedly. After meals he would 
have his favourite Russian kiimmel, of which he 
would often have five or six liqueur glasses in the 
course of after-dinner conversation. 



His system required stimulant, and he was fond 
of a mixture of champagne and stout in the fore- 
noon, but as a rule he drank only with his meals, 
and cert^tinly not to an extent to incapacitate 

To those who do not know the conditions under 
which we live in Africa the amount consumed by 
him might seem large, but he had a horror of the 
" nipping " habit, and it is absurd to accuse him of 
being a drunkard. 

When thirsty, I have known him take a long 
draught of pure water, and say, as he wiped away 
with his palm the drops which he generally allowed 
to trickle down his chin, " By Jove ! if people had 
to pay five shillings a bottle for that, I don't believe 
they would drink anything else." 

As to smoking he only smoked cigarettes which 
were imported direct from Cairo for him, and the 
resourceful Tony always had a supply on hand in 
the same way that he always had his particular 
brand of Blantyre coffee (he never drank any 
other) and his Russian kiimmel. He never 
smoked a pipe nor cigars, and seldom smoked 
before luncheon, but after lunch and dinner he 
would sit and smoke one cigarette after another, 
lighting the next one at the stump of the one he 
had finished. He never carried a cigarette-case 
about with him. He always spoke much better 
at the after luncheon or after dinner-table if he 
had a cigarette going, and seemed to feel lost 
without one. One night on the veld we had run 
out of cigarettes. I got from a wayside store some 
very vile so-called " Virginia " cigarettes, probably 

26 THE MAN RHODES [ch. hi 

made of hay. He pretended to like them, and 
said, " These are very light — quite a pleasant 
change from the heavy Egyptian tobacco." On 
another occasion in the Matoppos the supply of 
cigarettes ran out, and after dinner I made some 
out of Boer tobacco and the thinnest paper I could 
find ; but though he lighted them again and again 
he only regarded them with a pitying eye. He 
had one curious habit ; he would never light his 
cigarette with a match. 

When he wanted a cigarette and I was not 
smoking, he would say to me, " Take a cigarette." 
I would take one and light it, and then he would 
reach over and say, " Now give me a light," and 
light his cigarette at mine. 

When talking at dinner, he would absent-mindedly 
put his lighted cigarette down anywhere, and many 
were the damask table-cloths at Groote Schuur 
ruined by being burnt through by cigarette ends. 
The top of a leathern bridge-box also made a suit- 
able depository for burning cigarette ends. 

This habit of his might have resulted in serious 
and unpleasant consequences once while we were 
camped on the veld. He and I were sleeping in 
a coach, the wooden seats of which were covered 
with leather stuffed with coir. I retired early, and 
our only joint covering was a big sheepskin kaross.^ 
Rhodes came to rest smoking a cigarette and turned 
in (we slept in our clothes, only removing boots), 
but about 2 a.m. I was awakened by a stinging 
burn on the hand. I thought at first that Tony 

^ Kaross — rug made of hides of small antelopes^ jackals, etc. The 
sheepskin is the cheapest and most serviceable. 


had spilled the boiling early-morning coffee over 
me, but I then found that the kaross was smoulder- 
ing, and a large hole burnt through the hide. 
Rhodes awoke, and we put the kaross out of the 
door. Then I got a lantern and found that the 
whole of one section of the seat was aglow. The 
coir blazed up as we disturbed it, and to get rid of 
it I tore the section of seat off its hinges. The 
wooden seat was just about burnt through, and 
there were one thousand cordite cartridges packed 
underneath and flush up against it I 

There was a strange facial resemblance between 
Rhodes and some of the Roman Caesars, but his 
was rather the physiognomy of a Nero, although 
he personally considered himself like the Emperor 
Hadrian, and he was once surprised by a friend 
standing and stroking his nose before a portrait of 
Hadrian. He was not displeased at being spoken 
of amongst a certain set in London as " the Em- 
peror." Typically Roman were the forehead with 
the curly locks, the flashing eye, and the set of the 

Sir Lewis Michell in his work compares him to 
the Ceesars, Napoleon, and Clive ; and he certainly 
possessed many Napoleonic traits, but they were 
rather little mannerisms, such as the little tweak of 
the ear by which Napoleon used to evince his 
pleasure towards his marshals and the brusque and 
unconventional things he used to say to women, 
than characteristics. He would have scorned to 
engineer a propaganda of lies to win public sympathy 
as Napoleon did, and his soul would have abhorred 
the theatrical pageantry which Napoleon employed. 

28 THE MAN RHODES [cH. iii 

If a comparison is needed of his actual methods, 
it lies rather in Bismarck's than Napoleon's. But 
were one to try and summarize Rhodes, Elphin- 
stone's estimate of Clive's character would be 
found strangely applicable. Like Clive he left an 
** impression of force and grandeur ; a masculine 
understanding ; a fine judgment ; an inflexible will, 
little moved by real dangers, and by arguments and 
menaces not at all. He exercised a supreme con- 
trol over those who shared his counsels or executed 
his resolves. Men yielded to a pressure which they 
knew could not be turned aside, and either partook 
of its impulse or were crushed by its progress." 
Like Clive, too, " he meets the most formidable 
accusations, with bold avowal and a confident 
justification. He makes no attempt to soften his 
enemies or conciliate the public, but stands on his 
merits and services with a pride which in other 
circumstances would have been arrogance." A 
mind endowed with the qualities his held rises high 
above ordinary imperfections. "At worst it is a 
rough-hewn Colossus, where the irregularities of 
the surface are lost in the grandeur of the whole." ^ 
It is possible that the resemblance to Clive presents 
itself to one's mind as a natural conclusion from the 
fact that the lives and energies of both men were 
devoted more or less to a similar end, and that each 
found the necessity of employing similar tools and 
methods towards the consummation of their ideals. 
They were both great Englishmen, both were 
animated by intense patriotism and superlative 

* Elphinstone's ''Rise of the British Power in the East." Mac- 


loyalty, and both did render " great and meritorious 
services to their country." 

Rhodes's inflexible will carried him through 
many a situation where a less determined man 
would have been appalled by the difficulties beset- 
ting him ; he was as little moved by the real danger 
by which he was confronted in his negotiations 
with the Matabele rebels or the real danger which 
was ever present when he first cast in his lot with 
the revolutionary movement in Johannesburg, as 
he was by the arguments and menaces of his 
opponents in the Cape House of Assembly. He 
exercised a control over his colleagues on the 
De Beers' Board of Directors, " who shared his 
counsels," and over his colleagues in his Ministry to 
a ridiculous extent. He would walk in late to a 
meeting of De Beers' Directors, and the minutes of 
the last meeting having hardly been read, he would 
start on the agenda and run through them, giving 
his own views something like this : ** Of course, 
what we have got to do here is so and so ; I think 
we are all agreed about that. Just enter that in 
the minutes [to the secretary] as proposed and 
carried ; and now about so and so," and the same 
with regard to the rest. " That's all for this 
morning, I think," he w^ould add, and walk 
out, leaving his colleagues thinking over resolu- 
tions and amendments they intended to bring 

When De Beers' Directors — backed up by Lord 
Rothschild (representing French shareholders) — 
protested against the use he was making of De Beers' 
funds, they were forced to yield to the pressure he 

30 THE MAN RHODES [ch. hi 

applied, and were only too glad to partake of its 
impulse to allay the storm their action created. 
The formidable accusations hurled against him 
in connection with the Raid he certainly met 
with bold avowal and confident justification, even 
sang-froid, and listened to the evidence against 
him with amused interest, munching sandwiches 
and drinking stout the while. Nor does he make 
any attempt to conciliate the public when he has 
to answer for his actions, but arrogantly stands 
on his merits and aggravates his judges by saying 
that he is coming to face their ** unctuous recti- 

Rhodes was on terms of great intimacy with 
General Charles Gordon (" Chinese Gordon"), who 
wished him to accompany him to the Soudan. 
Rhodes, however, refused, saying that his work 
lay in the south. Gordon is said to have told 
him the story of his having been offered a room- 
ful of silver in China which he had refused, and 
to have asked Rhodes what he would have done. 
" Why, taken it, to be sure," said Rhodes, " and 
as many more as they liked to give me ; for what 
is the earthly use of having ideas if you haven't 
the money to carry them out ? " 

Opprobium was heaped upon Clive because he 
acquired wealth in India, but it is certain that 
if Clive coveted wealth he, like Rhodes, only 
looked upon the possession of wealth as a means 
of gratifying ambition, for "what is the earthly 
use of having ideas if you have not the money 
to carry them out ? " and, moreover, not for the 
gratification of ambition for personal aggrandise- 


ment, but for that of the Great Empire which 
both men served so well ; but as " South Africa " 
has said, " History will give Rhodes his true place 
in the roll of Englishmen whose one thought has 
been the glory of their country." In everything 
the man was big, although his greatness has in 
certain quarters only been acknowledged to lie 
in his faults. 

Rhodes was a valiant trencherman — one might 
almost call him a gross feeder. On the veld he 
liked getting the joint in front of him, and cutting 
off great hunks of meat ; and at home at Groote 
Schuur he would get up and go to a side-table, 
carve for himself, and carry over to his plate on 
his fork what he carved. When making a voyage, 
he always sent a cow on board in order to have 
fresh milk, and also a crate with a couple of dozen 
laying hens to provide fresh eggs, and these were 
killed during the voyage. As the cows were not 
allowed to be landed in England, they were, on 
arrival at Southampton, presented to the cook 
or butcher and slaughtered. He also, as a rule, 
carried his own brand of champagne and his 
favourite klimmel. An amusing story occurs to 
mind anent this. I was in a drawing-room at 
Kimberley once, and of those present I only knew 
my hostess. There were two ladies to whom I 
had not been introduced sitting near talking of 
Rhodes, and I suddenly heard my name men- 
tioned ; I caught my hostess's eye, and we heard, 
to our amusement, one go on to speak of Rhodes's 
habit of having a crate of fowls on board, and 
related how on one occasion he had told me to 


S2 THE MAN RHODES [ch. hi 

get a couple of the hens killed, and I replied that 
some were laying and some not, and it seemed 
a pity to kill the layers. " Well," Rhodes said, 
" you can watch them, can't you, and see which 
are laying ? " I was said by the narrator to have 
replied that the hens only laid at night. " Then," 
said she, " Rhodes got very angry, and said, 
' Surely you can get a lantern, and sit up with 
them at night.' " Of course, there was no truth 
in this tale, but it is only one of the many that were 
told of Rhodes and his "young men," having as 
much foundation in fact. 

Before leaving England on his last voyage in 
January 1902, on the "Briton," he had become 
rather more fastidious about his food. A crate 
of hens was sent down from the Salvation Army 
farm, but he told me to get a supply of preserved 
meats, etc. I went to Messrs. Fortnum & Mason's, 
and a large stock of all manner of things — in cans, 
in porcelain, and glass — was sent on board and 
put under Tony's charge. Naturally I had to 
have a large variety, and so ordered only a few 
dozen of each, as it was impossible to tell which 
he was likely to care for. Moreover, there were 
five in the party — Rhodes, Dr. Jameson, Sir 
Charles Metcalfe, the Hon. William Grenfell, and 
myself — and all shared in the " extras." Every- 
thing went smoothly at first, but at last Rhodes 
struck some potted thing he particularly liked, 
and in a few days there was none left. I ex- 
plained that only a few dozen of each had been 
ordered, or the ship would have been filled ; as 
it was, a third-class cabin was turned into a store- 



room, and it was packed from top to bottom. 
Tony was sent for, but he could not unearth any 
more of the delicacy, and Rhodes turned to me. 
saying, "I believe you will die in a workhouse 
yet." Of course, none of the food on board — 
which, as a matter of fact, is excellent — pleased 
him after that, and as he sent away one dish after 
another he said, " Really, Donald Currie ought 
to be hanged by the neck." 

While Rhodes's conduct during the Rebellion 
and his incursion into the Matoppos into the 
midst of the Matabele (although he used to say 
frequently, " I was never in such a funk in my 
life," in speaking of tight corners he had been in) 
give the impression of remarkable courage, I 
never considered that he really possessed physical 
courage. His moral courage is not in question ; 
but, as has been said, he would have been " more 
afraid of being thought afraid." " Not to fear 
to be thought afraid " has been described as true 
bravery, but it is not the physical courage Clive 
possessed, nor Paul Kruger when he faced wounded 
lions, and when, his thumb being shattered by his 
gun bursting, he calmly took out his pocket-knife 
and amputated it.^ 

Kruger, of course, had the knowledge behind 
him of perfect physical condition and great brute 
strength, and he probably was not highly sensitive 
to physical pain — as in the thumb-cutting episode. 

^ Kruger used to tell the story of his gun having burst and shattered 
his thumbj and said that he sharpened his knife on his ^' veldschoen," 
then took the end of his thumb in his mouth, placed the knife in 
position_, and fixing his eyes on a white stone about twenty yards in 
front he suddenly slashed, and the thumb came off in his mouth ! 

34 THE MAN RHODES [ch. hi 

I think the pain and the sight of his own blood 
would have made Rhodes sick. He could not 
endure physical pain, and on several occasions when 
he was lying in bed ill and in pain I have seen the 
tears welling up in his eyes and trickling down his 
cheeks ; yet in his final illness he bore excruciating 
pain with remarkable fortitude. He always had a 
dread of a long, lingering illness and a painful 
death ; and one day, talking to me with Dr. 
Rutherfoord Harris, he said, " You and Harris will 
probably die of cancer in the throat and linger on 
in agony, but 1 shall go off suddenly without any 
pain ; I may go off while I am talking to you now ; 
this " — thumping himself on his heart — " will kill 
me, but I shan't suffer " ; and yet he suffered agonies 
during his last illness, and had an exceedingly 
painful end. He had a strange strain of nervous- 
ness in him too. At Groote Schuur one day he 
noticed a large dry branch on one of the oaks at 
the back of the house. It was rather unsightly, 
and he suggested its being lopped. " Can't you 
shoot it off ? " he said. I got a rifle and broke off 
a large part of it, but the main part was too thick 
to be smashed off with a bullet. So I sent to the 
stable-yard for a boy with an axe. Rhodes and I 
stood looking on while the boy swarmed up the 
oak (these Cape boys can climb like cats). Then 
he started crawling along a branch, axe in hand. 
It was not very high — perhaps thirty feet — but 
Rhodes turned off and said with a shudder, '* I'm 
going inside, I can't stand it — but it's worth doing. 
There's a man's life on it." He came out again 
later and said : '* You must give him a sovereign — 


he risked his Ufe." (I gave him a shilling, with 
which he was quite pleased.) ^ 

Rhodes was no eloquent speaker, nor did he pour"\ 
out flowers of rhetoric. He adopted an ordinary ' 
conversational style, and, as he used to say, " took 
his audience into his confidence." But he made 
his points, and so emphasized them one by one 
that any one who had listened to him came away 
with a distinct and clear idea of what he intended 
to convey, as if one were the only auditor. It has 
been said of certain great speakers that one listened 
to their flowers of oratory spellbound, and then 
wondered what they had been saying, and only 
realized when reading reports of the speeches after- 
wards. While one listened with as much attention 
to Rhodes, one at once grasped his arguments. 
His faculty for handling a hostile audience was 

He never prepared his speeches really — except 
that he would write down a few notes, and for a few 
hours before speaking he would either go and lie 
down or sit wrapped in thought — probably running 
over points to put to his audience. 

His speeches were characterized by conciseness 
and simplicity of style. In his conversational 
manner he would proceed to explain a position 
and what he considered the remedy to be applied. 

^ The ^' Cape boy " or Africander or brown man, as he calls himself, is 
the coloured oiFspring of a European and the Hottentot or Malay, 
and is common to garrison towns. He is of all shades, from dark brown 
to a mere tinge, and dislikes being called a nigger. Many are the results 
of intercourse between the earlier settlers and their Mozambique or 
Malay slaves, and in most cases they have adopted the patronymics 
of the families to whom they owe their origin. 

36 THE MAN RHODES [cH. iii 

It gave one the impression of a schoolmaster 
giving a friendly discourse to a class of students ; 
and while he often created amusement by his air of 
an assumption of total ignorance of his subject on 
the part of his audience, which he proposed to 
remedy, his simplicity obviated any possibility of 
giving offence. 

While he avoided dull platitudes, he often came 
out with remarks of obvious truth, which he 
delivered with an air of conveying startling new 
facts to his listeners. 

He was fond of chaffing people about him in a 
boyish manner, especially his " young men," and 
he often exercised his powers of sarcasm on them, 
but he disliked anything in the way of risque 
sayings and douhle-entcndre, though he would on 
occasion come out with a good full-mouthed 

He was by no means insensible to flattery, and 
the references made in his hearing to his resem- 
blance to Cgesar and Napoleon did not displease 
him ; and he also had his little vanities. He was 
obsessed by the thought of living after death in 
\the country named after him, in his epigrams and 
especially in work, and he highly appreciated the 
idea of the enduring character of work as compared 
with the transient nature or ephemeral state of 
life. The passage in which Marcus Aurelius dwells 
upon this subject he had marked in his pocket 
edition of " Marcus Aurelius." He never told me, 
as Jourdan says he told him, to keep notes of what 
was going on around, but in 1898 he asked me to 
fetch a copy of a telegram he had sent to Lord 


Kitchener after Atbara, and when I produced it he 
asked for Lord Kitchener's wire, which read, as far 
as I remember, " Have smashed the Mahdi — Frank 
wounded but all right — if you don't hurry up I 
shall be through before you." Then he returned 
me the papers, and said, " You should keep things 
like that together, Le Sueur ; you will write things 
after my death, and that is something worth remem- 

There was a friendly sort of rivalry between him 
and Lord Kitchener as to which was making most 
progress — Kitchener from the north and Rhodes 
from the south. Just before the opening of the 
railway to Bulawayo, Kitchener was very short of 
engines for the Soudan Railway, and Rhodes, al- 
though he badly needed them, gave up to him two 
or three of the engines built for the Bechuanaland 
railway-line. Without them the railway could 
not possibly have been pushed on that year. Not 
long before Rhodes died he was asked to cable a 
message to be read at a dinner which was given to 
the C.I.V. heroes lately returned to London from 
the Boer War. After drafting and re-drafting a 
message several times, he cabled, as far as I can 
recollect : " Your record shows that Englishmen, 
although engaged in commercial pursuits, can still 
hold their own in the field." I think the message, 
which is of course a reference to Napoleon's famous 
gibe at the " nation of shop-keepers," fell rather flat. 

I have known him, too, at table make an epigram- 
matic remark, and watch for the effect on his 
listeners, and if they did not seem to be sufficiently 
attending he would repeat it until satisfied that 

38 THE MAN RHODES [cH. iii 

he had driven it home and that it would be 

He did not care about discussing rehgion — by 
which I mean dogmas or creeds — though I have 
heard him arguing with a Jesuit Father and others. 
I always looked upon him more as an Agnostic 
than anything else, but he did speak of his religion 
as being an effort for the betterment of mankind, 
and his " unifaith " might be said to consist in 
framing one's life for the betterment of one's fellow- 
beings. I have heard him make the remark, " The 
man who says there is no God is a fool," and in 
referring to Jesus Christ he always spoke of " our 
Saviour." At Barkly West, in 1898, a religious 
argument was started in his presence, and after 
listening awhile he said, " Let a man be a Buddhist, 
let him be a Mohammedan, let him be a Christian 
or what you will ; let him call himself what he 
likes, but if he does not believe in a Supreme 
Being he is no man — he is no better than a 

' Rhodes had great sympathy with the Salva- 
tion Army work, and often expressed his admira- 
tion of ** General " Booth as an organiser. " A 
wonderful man," he termed him. He considered 
that the Army was doing great work in the 
cause of humanity, and he was always ready to 
assist it. 

With the unobtrusive and beneficent work of 
the Sisters of Nazareth he was in great sympathy, 
and the collecting sisters were frequent visitors at 

Groote Schuur. He appreciated the fact that the 
sisters and nuns of the House of Nazareth were 


carrying on great works of charity in South Africa, 
as well as in other parts of the world, while the 
services they rendered during the Kimberley siege 
in the cause to which their lives are devoted can- 
not be overestimated. 

The Society of Jesus also received the highest 
encouragement from him. 

In Rhodesia a large grant of land near Salisbury 
was made to the Jesuit Fathers. On this the 
mission station, Chishawasha, is established, and 
here the more or less thankless work of training 
the raw native is conducted. 

The mission is well equipped and has schools of 
various industries. Fruit-growing, the manufacture 
of oil, etc., is carried on. The fathers and brothers 
even make a very palatable wine from the grapes 
grown by themselves. It is customary in Rhodesia, 
or South Africa generally for the matter of that, to 
scoff at the work of missions and instinctively to 
distrust mission-trained natives, generally with very 
good reason. It is commonly conceded that a 
" boy " does not learn to steal until he has come 
into contact with a missionary ; nor a girl im- 
morality until she adopts European clothes — in fact, 
her morality is judged in inverse ratio to the 
amount of clothing she wears ; but although the 
ordinary mission "boy" is almost invariably im- 
pudent to a white man — the result of the " man 
and brother" doctrine — it is a well-known fact 
that the Chishawasha " boys " are never wanting 
in respect, until, on leaving the mission, they have 
it driven out of them by the low-class whites. 
Although at Chishawasha they are not instilled 

40 THE MAN RHODES [cH. iii 

with the doctrine held by the Boers, that their 
perpetual fate is to be hewers of wood and drawers 
of water to the whites, they are taught respect for 
their masters, and the Fathers try to imbue them 
with a sense of the dignity of labour, and endeavour 
to qualify them as more or less useful members 
of a community, by instilling into them as much 
knowledge of a useful trade as it is possible for 
their defective intellects to take in. 

Rhodes seldom or never bore malice, but there 
was one man whose memory he always reviled, and 
that was a certain member of H. M. Stanley's 

Rhodes had obtained a concession along the 
western shore of Lake Tanganyika, which is now 
Congo Free State territory, and the precious 
document was despatched by native runners to 
the coast. The runners fell in with Stanley's party, 
and the man referred to, who was said to have 
been acting as agent for the Congo Free State, 
took the concession from them and destroyed it. 

In referring to the incident afterwards, Rhodes 
said, " But for the blackguardism of one man I 
should have been right through Africa ; but he got 
his deserts ; the natives killed him with a poisoned 

The strip, which connects British East Africa 
and Uganda, has lately been the subject of negotia- 
tions with the Belgian Government. 

Rhodes was always imbued with intense patriot- 
ism and pride in being an Englishman, and once 
wrote down in his commonplace book : " Ask any 
man what nationality he would prefer to be, and 

1 897] PRIDE OF RACE 41 

ninety-nine out of a hundred will tell you that 
they would prefer to be Englishmen." ^ 

In one of his speeches he retailed an interview 
he had had with Borckenhagen, a German, editor of 
the "Free State Express" and a staunch National- 
ist. Borckenhagen, Rhodes stated, said to him, 
" Mr. Rhodes, we must combine." Rhodes replied, 
" I quite agree with you." " Just one thing," 
Borckenhagen went on : " we must have our own 
flag." Rhodes said he answered : " Then I am 
not with you. If you take my flag, you take 
everything. You must think me either a knave 
or a fool. I should be a fool to give up my flag 
and my traditions, and I should be a knave because 
I should be despised by my own countrymen and 
distrusted by yours." 

The whole of this conversation was afterwards 
denied by Borckenhagen. 

Rhodes was not overcome with awe or shyness 
when he came to face the Great Ones of the earth. 
The story is well known of his interview in con- 
nection with the Transcontinental Telegraph with 
the German Emperor, who admired Rhodes very 
much, and for whom Rhodes in turn had enormous 
admiration. They had been conversing for quite 
a long time, the Kaiser being much interested, 
when Rhodes glanced at a clock and got up, and, 
instead of waiting to be dismissed, as Court 
etiquette demanded, he held out his hand to the 
Emperor, to the latter's amusement, and said, 

' Earl Grey said of him that while they had their differences of 
opinion, he could testify that he had "never met any man who was 
Mr. Rhodes's superior in either magnanimity or real genuinQ 

42 THE MAN RHODES [ch. hi 

" Well, good-bye : I've got to go now, as I have 
some people coming to dinner." 

While he was staying at Sandringham, he wrote 
down the following, as far as 1 can remember it. 
I don't know its origin, but always thought it was 
something his late Majesty, King Edward VII., 
then Prince of Wales, said to him : 

" You and I have much in common. . . . You 
have many instincts — Religion, Love, Ambition, 
Money-making (which from your point of view 
I consider the best) — but if you differ from me, 
go and work for that instinct you deem best." 

When he visited the Sultan of Turkey, from 
whom he managed to get permission to take some 
Angora goats (rams) out of the country, the 
exportation being otherwise prohibited, he arrived 
at the hour of his appointment for the interview 
with his overcoat on and buttoned up. Fearful 
of allowing him into the Presence with an overcoat 
on, under which he might have concealed firearms, 
bombs, and daggers, the gentlemen-in-waiting 
smilingly advanced to relieve him of it ; but 
Rhodes sturdily refused to remove his overcoat, 
for the very good reason that he only had an 
ordinary lounge suit on underneath — hardly the 
dress in which to be presented to royalty. The 
attendants implored him to remove the overcoat, 
assuring him that it was impossible for him to be 
admitted unless he did so. " All right," said 
Rhodes, " then I won't go in at all." This would 
never do, and the attendants, seeing that further 
effort was useless, escorted him into the Presence 
of the Unspeakable One. 


Rhodes was very considerate, and hated hurting 
any one's feelings, though he very often did so " in 
the course of business." When I first joined him 
and we left Kimberley by train for the north, he 
and his party had just come from a function at the 
Kimberley Club, and had on starched white shirts 
and collars, while I had a soft collarless one. I felt 
rather awkward, and I remarked that I was the only 
one in the party in flannels. In a minute or two 
Rhodes, probably thinking I was uncomfortable, 
went to his compartment, from which he presently 
emerged, having discarded his starched shirt and 
collar and donned soft ones like mine. 

He showed this trait, too, once while we were 
camped on the veld. His servant, Antony de la Cruz, 
was a strange mixture of Chinaman, Portuguese, 
and Cape boy, and while he was standing near us 
we saw a man coming up. I said he was a nigger, 
Rhodes a white man. As he neared us, 1 saw 
that he was an ofF-coloured Cape boy, and there- 
fore, according to South African ideas, as much a 
nigger as an aboriginal native. 

I said, " There you are — a nigger right enough ! " 
^ " Of course he's not," said Rhodes. " He's a 
white man, sunburnt like Tony." 

Then, when Tony was out of hearing, he said, 
" Didn't you see Tony standing by ? " However, 
Tony might be excused for considering himself a 
white man, as many of the so-called Portuguese 
and Goanese, who are darker than the majority of 
Cape boys, consider themselves Europeans and 
white men. A favourite Rhodesian pleasing fancy 
is to address these gentry in kitchen kafir. It can 

44 THE MAN RHODES [ch. hi 

never be said of Rhodes that he ever deserted a 
friend or failed to reward service rendered him. 
" We must do something for So and So," he would 
remark. " Let us make him a director of De 
Beers." Captain Penfold, with whom he formed 
and maintained a strong friendship from the day 
when he first went to the Cape Parliament, and 
Sir Thomas Fuller, who had been long politically- 
associated with him, he made directors of De 
Beers. Sir Graham Bower, who had been Imperial 
Secretary under Sir Hercules Robinson at the time 
of the Raid, and who had fallen into more or less 
disfavour, he offered employment under the Char- 
tered Company, but Sir Graham preferred to rely 
upon the Colonial Office and Rhodes's and Lord 
Grey's influence with them than to arouse comment 
by taking an appointment under the Chartered 
Company. Sir Lewis Michell, who for many years 
attended to all his financial affairs, was, immediately 
after Rhodes's death, appointed chairman of De 
Beers, and later on went to London as a Director 
on the Board of the Chartered Company. 

Rhodes had no fear of being accused of nepotism 
in making his appointments either. When Gardner 
Wilhams resigned his position as general manager 
of De Beers, he told Rhodes that he did not like to 
recommend his son as his successor, simply because 
he was his son ; but Rhodes said, " What on earth 
does that matter ? If a man is fit for the post, 
it doesn't matter tuppence what personal interest 
there is in it." 

He was rather grumbled at for employing so 
many American engineers, but he calmly replied 


that his experience was that they were the only- 
engineers who understood the work required of 
them. " If you want a man for a position, you 
want some one who understands the work." Thus 
the majority of the engineers in De Beers' employ 
and even on the Rand were Americans. 

Rhodes used to say that the greatest of all life's 
pleasures was the faculty of creation. The man 
who had the genius of creation he regarded as the 
man who could contemplate his handiwork with 
the greatest satisfaction. " It is a thing of my own 
creation : creative genius, that's what I've got. 
It is a great thing to have," he said. He would 
speak of having *' created " the mountain view 
behind Groote Schuur, by cutting away the thick 
bush which hid it, or of having " created " Groote 
Schuur itself as a pleasure-resort for the public, 
and he regarded it with satisfaction as his own 
product, as the Almighty may have regarded the 
earth when " He saw that it was good." 

If Rhodes had any particular hobby it was^ 
farming. In Rhodesia he acquired two blocks of 
farms — one stretching along the Matoppos, where 
he built a large dam in the hope of growing winter 
crops by means of irrigation, as, the summer months 
being the rainy season, the advent of rust pre- 
vented wheat and oats being grown ; and the other 
at Inyanga, which he hoped would be suitable for 
fruit, and where he intended utilizing as far as 
possible the old irrigation furrows which exist. 
These blocks of ground he purchased at high prices 
as an ordinary private individual. (This just to 
contradict a statement I have heard frequently 

46 THE MAN RHODES [ch. hi 

made that it was easy enough for Rhodes to equip 
farms cheaply, as he got the ground as a free grant 
from the Chartered Company.) 

In the Cape Colony, besides encouraging farming 
by giving valuable prizes at agricultural shoves, he 
made De Beers purchase a number of farms near 
Kimberley, and imported a number of blood stock- 
horses and cattle. The horses included some Arabs 
from Mr. Wilfrid Blunt 's stock. The farms at 
Kimberley were under the charge of W, D. Fynn, 
and De Beers are constant prize-winners and 
exhibitors at shows. 

For the fruit-farms in the western province 
Rhodes had the advantage of the advice of 
H. E. V. Pickstone, a Californian fruit expert, 
and under his guidance the fruit-growing and 
jam manufacture has thriven. Rhodes also pur- 
chased a farm on the Cape flats, not far from 
Groote Schuur, on which he placed prize poultry 
and Yorkshire pigs, and where he also planted 
paddocks with grass seed from Queen's Town, 
Cape Colony, and the island of Madeira. This 
farm was not a success, however, and the stock 
was moved, and the place is now used as training 
stables for racehorses. In order to improve the 
strain of Angora goats in the Cape, Rhodes, as I 
have said, obtained from the Sultan of Turkey 
special permission to purchase and export some 
Angora rams. They were introduced to the Cape 
Colony and issued to the farmers at cost price ; 
but his action in importing them was condemned 
by the farmers' associations, who deemed that the 
rams should have been selected by some one aware 


of local conditions and acquainted with the strains 
which would be most suitable for introduction into 
the Cape flocks. 

Rhodes was an omnivorous reader. Like Macau- 
lay, he would throw himself down with half-a- 
dozen books and dip first into one and then another. 
Besides his favourite Gibbon, he read books of 
history with zest and also biography ; while 
" Plutarch's Lives " were a source of never-ending 
pleasure. Amongst other books that appealed to 
him were such as Bryce's ** American Common- 
wealth," Milner's " England in Egypt," and the 
works of Mahan on the Influence of Sea Power, 
while he now and again read some modern novel, 
a selection of which used to be sent out to him by 
Hatchard, of Piccadilly. He had a few of Thac- 
keray's works and one or two of Dickens, but on 
somebody asking him once whether he ever read 
Dickens, he replied that he was " not interested in 
the class of people Dickens wrote about." He had 
a large number of books on Federation and Con- 
stitutional Government, but they were usually 
on the shelves of the library. He once gave Miss 
Mary Brailsford a copy of R. L. Stevenson's 
" Treasure Island." " You ought to read it," he 
said; "it's a very good book — very instructive." 
" Have you read it, Mr. Rhodes ? " she naively 
inquired. "Now you run away and play," was 
Rhodes's answer, turning and smiling at Brailsford. 
He did not care at all for poetry, nor did he read 
many novels, but he had nearly all Kipling's works 
in his library ; he was very fond of Rudyard 
Kipling, he said, because " he writes such charming 

48 THE MAN RHODES [ch. hi 

letters." He had the "Woolsack," built like 
Groote Schuur in old Dutch architecture, on 
the Groote Schuur estate, and Kipling spent a 
portion of each year there. 

Marcus Aurelius was a favourite of his, and 
he had a pocket edition, which he carried for many 
years, and the margins of the pages of which he 
had marked and covered with annotations. This 
was, however, missed after his death, and I don't 
think it has been traced. One night at dinner he 
was discussing books with a certain " man of 
affairs " at Salisbury, and the latter recommended 
certain books to him, and said he would lend them 
to him. After dinner 1 walked home with him, 
and he handed me the three volumes, which he took 
from his shelves. On my return to Government 
House I found that the pages of none of the books 
had been cut ! 

He used to do little more than glance through 
newspapers, and of magazines his favourites were 
the " Nineteenth Century," " Contemporary," and 
the " North American Review," though he nearly 
always read " South Africa " and " The Spectator." 

It will surprise many, even of his intimates, to 
hear that Rhodes kept a commonplace book, but 
its contents were nearly all quotations from Gibbon, 
and on the fly-leaf of one of his books he had 
written an epigrammatic remark, the purport of 
which I forget, but to which he added "not 
Gibbon, but the thought of another." 

Rhodes was not actually an animal lover. He 
did not care much for horses or dogs, though he 
always had a favourite horse, and he would now 



and then say he liked a particular dog. Perhaps 
the two he liked most were two superb collies 
given him by Panmure Gordon, and with one of 
which he was photographed at Iver. This he 
always regarded as his best photograph. 

He was always much taken with his portrait by 
Herkomer and with a small painting by the late 
Lady Romilly. A picture of himself was once 
sent to him in London by a lady who had painted 
it from a photograph taken at the laying of a 
foundation-stone at Port Elizabeth, and he was 
shown standing leaning on a spade. I showed him 
the painting, and he was delighted with it. *' Why, 
that's me^ he said — *' that's my face exactly"; and 
he walked up and down the room with it and 
asked me to write and ask the lady who had 
painted it to call. There is one very characteristic 
photograph of him, of which he ordered a great 
number of copies. It w^as taken outside the De 
Beers car at Vryburg when we were there on our 
way north in 1897. Another very characteristic 
study of him is a water-colour done by Mortimer 
Menpes at Groote Schuur, where he depicted him 
in his white flannels on horseback. 

He was always averse to being photographed 
side-face, and when having his portrait taken in- 
sisted on facing the camera. 

While having a great financial brain, Rhodes 
was never really a speculator in shares, and 
although he was always anxious about the effect 
of his speeches, reports of his health, etc., on the 
market, when he required money to adjust his 
overdrafts he would sell a good stock like De 

50 THE MAN RHODES [ch. iii 

Beers or Goldfields, but not be influenced by the 
price of rotten stuff to make money. It has been 
often said that he did not understand money- 
making. If he did not understand its making, he 
superlatively comprehended the use of it. 

The conception of an idea and steps for its 
execution were almost simultaneous with him. 
When out riding, he would sometimes think of 
something, and ask me to remind him as soon as 
we returned home, but he never needed reminding, 
and immediately on our return he would start 
to give effect to his thought. He left things a 
great deal to the men he trusted, and he had full 
confidence in the men he employed. He would 
give his instructions, and there was an end of the 
matter ; he expected them carried out, and no 
one was given a second chance who went to him 
with a tale of failure. 

" Women ! of course I don't hate women," said 
Rhodes once ; " I like them, but I don't want them 
always fussing about." Whether he liked women 
or not, he did prefer the society of men, although 
he was, as a rule, courteous and considerate to 
women ; but sometimes he would be brusque and 
unconventional. There were a few who were 
favourites of his, and he really enjoyed himself in 
their company. Then there is his well-known 
reply to Queen Victoria when she said she had 
heard that he was a woman-hater, and he an- 
swered, " How could I possibly hate a sex to 
which your Majesty belongs ! " 

No, Rhodes was no woman-hater, but he would 
not be fussed. He was, of course, much run after, 

1 897] WOxMEN 51 

especially in London, where one lady in particular 
seemed to spend most of her time in inveigling 
Rhodes into her carriage to drive him round the 
Park, proudly displaying to her friends this lion, 
captive to her spear and bow. She was about to 
buy a new carriage once, and her husband set his 
face dead against a victoria. Miss Edith Rhodes 
was present, and immediately said to him, " / 
know why you won't have a victoria ; it is because 
when your wife goes out driving with my brother 
you have to sit on the little front seat like a 
footstool, and it is not very comfortable, is it ? 
There you are — 1 knew I was right." 

Before this gentlewoman's marriage the man 
who is now her husband asked Rhodes to inter- 
cede for him, as his suit was not progressing very 
favourably. Rhodes used his power of persuasion, 
but for a long time the lady was obdurate, and wrote 
him a number of letters, the main purport of which 
was that she could not, could not, and would not 
marry his friend. But she did in the end, and the 
marriage is pronounced a very suitable and happy 
one. If she ever reads these lines, she may rest 
assured that her letters were seen only by Rhodes, 
and that they were destroyed by fire. 

On one occasion as we were riding, we passed 
two native women very scantily attired, and shortly 
afterwards he asked me abruptly how the sight 
appealed to me, and then, while I was mildly 
wondering what sort of reply he expected, he 
went on inconsequently, "You may ask why I 
never married, and do you know ? I answer you 
very fairly that I have never yet seen the woman 

52 THE MAN RHODES [ch. iii 

whom I could get on in the same house with." In 
spite of this there was one woman, a very charming 
daughter of a Cape family, whom he felt he could 
get on with, for he proposed to her several times. 
She was a very beautiful girl, and she afterwards 
married a soldier and became a great favourite in 
London society. There was another beautiful and 
distinguished woman whose carriage was often 
seen at the Old Burlington Street entrance of the 
Burlington Hotel, and she would wait for hours 
after I had told her Rhodes was in the city or out 
anywhere, and he would make his escape by the 
Cork Street entrance ; nor do I think she once 
succeeded in catching him. He had two or three 
woman friends with whom he used to ride in the 
Parkin the mornings, and he enjoyed their society. 

He had his own idea of female beauty. 1 recol- 
lect the first time I rode out to the Matoppos with 
him. We had not been at the huts for ten minutes 
when he said, " Now, Le Sueur, 1 want you to see 
my idea of a really beautiful native girl. You take 
him and show him, Huntley." 

Harry Huntley and I rode off, and went to a 
kraal a short distance away, and the little lady came 
out to greet us. She was Lo Bengula's youngest 
daughter, and Rhodes called her " the Princess." 
She was a light copper-coloured and pleasant- 
featured girl of sixteen or seventeen, with a beau- 
tiful figure, and was named " N'tupusela," which is 
the native name for the rosy hue in the East 
before daybreak. 

On board ship once the usual fancy-dress ball 
was held, and I had designed and drawn a dress 

T902] "WHO^S THE BRIDE?" 53 

representing "Cape to Cairo," a picture of Table 
Bay and Mountains in water-colours at the bottom, 
and pictures representing the chief towns on the 
way to Cairo all the way up the skirt, all joined 
together with a string of telegraph-poles and wire 
in black. On the head was a fez, crescent, etc., 
and on one side of the bodice a portrait of 
Kitchener, and on the other one of Rhodes. 
Incidentally it took the first prize, but Rhodes 
knew nothing of it. We were seated at dinner 
when the young lady who wore it entered. 
Rhodes looked up as she passed our table, and 
then said, " By Jove ! that young woman has got 
my picture on her stomach." Luckily she did 
not overhear the remark. On another voyage 
there was a dance on board, and I was sitting 
with Rhodes on deck when the dancers came 
up from the saloon. A young girl came up 
amongst them, who wore a little wreath of 
flowers in her hair. " Who's the bride ? " in- 
quired Rhodes. "She isn't a bride," I answered. 
"Of course she is," said he, "else why the devil 
has she got that thing in her hair ? " nor would 
anything persuade him that she had not usurped 
some prerogative of a bride in her dress. When 
we came out in 1902, there was a delightful family 
on board. There were two daughters, and Rhodes 
was very interested in the elder girl. " That," he 
said to me, "is my ideal of a beautiful English 
girl. You must introduce me to her." I asked 
him to be on deck just before dinner, and waited 
for him at the gangway entrance to the saloon 
with her. Presently he came along and 1 intro- 

54 THE MAN RHODES [cH. iii 

duced him. They spoke for a few minutes, and 
we went in to dinner. I don't know if he talked 
to her much afterwards, as he was not well, but 
he continually spoke of her admiringly. He had 
a Napoleonic habit of sometimes calling attention 
to a woman's dress, and he would say things 
" that gave them to think." When the Reformers 
were in gaol at Pretoria, they were visited by 
numbers of their lady friends, who brought them 
delicacies, flowers, etc. One used to be very 
marked in ministering to Colonel Frank Rhodes's 
comfort. She used to come at least once a day 
to the gaol, if not often er. She afterwards married 
and settled in Bulawayo ; and one day she and 
her husband came out to spend a couple of days 
at Rhodes's huts in the Matoppos. At dinner 
the first night Rhodes asked her all about herself, 
and she mentioned going to see Colonel Frank 
in gaol, and her maiden name. ** Oh, yes," said 
Rhodes, " I know — you are the woman who wanted 
to marry my brother." 



Rhodes's methods of organization may best be ^ ^ 
described as " thorough," and thorough because/ 
he gave matters his undivided personal attention. 

Nothing more absurd about him was ever said 
than that he was "too big to consider details." 
It might much more truly be said that he was 
big enough not to disregard the smallest detail, 
knowing full well how often neglect of a seemingly 
negligible point has wrecked many a project and 
caused the best-laid schemes to " gang agley." 

His immense power of concentration of thought 
enabled him at once to place his finger upon a \ 
weak spot, and it often lay in an apparently / 
insignificant detail which a smaller man might ♦ 

The broad basis of a big idea might readily be 
conceived by a very ordinary brain, but require 
the application of a master mind to grasp its 
minutiae and bring it to a successful issue. 

Although it sounds incredible, it has been 
authoritatively stated that Rhodes once, while 
personally conducting Khama, the Mangwato 
King, over Groote Schuur, pointed out his bed 



to the dusky chief and said, " This is where 1 lie 
and think in continents." 

The story has been told with bated breath as 
illustrating the greatness of Rhodes's mind ; but to 
think in continents, or for the matter of that 
universes, might easily be quite a sound occupation 
for the mind or lack of it in the veriest " luny " in 

In Rhodes his big ideals were practicable, and 
he was capable of devising and applying the 
measures for their consummation. Where diffi- 
culties might appear unsurmountable to the 
many, the one loophole would be fixed upon by 

Any question with which Rhodes had to deal 
he examined from every point of view, and his 
complete mastery of its details was the result of 
his thoroughly thrashing it out, and concentrating 
his mind upon it in the seclusion of his bedroom 
or .the solitudes of the mountain-side. 

On a proposal being made to him he would 
often ask : " Have you thought of so-and-so ? " and 
on receiving the reply that that aspect had not 
presented itself to the proposer, he would answer, 
throwing himself back in his chair with a grim 
smile, or springing to his feet, hands thrust into 
fobs : " Oh, I can see you getting into a hell of a 
mess " ; then go on, " It's quite obvious, ..." or 
" It's perfectly clear, . . ." or " Don't you see, etc.? " 
and proceed to point out the lion in the path and 
the way to evade him. 

He nearly always, in private conversation, 
assumed that what was obvious to him must 

1 899] GRASP OF DETAIL 57 

necessarily be manifest to any one else, who had 
probably not grasped the details. 

When the idea of amalgamating the diamond 
interests in Kimberley occurred to him, he set 
himself thoroughly to master everything connected 
with the industry. 

He knew the cost of labour, hauling, washing, 
sorting, etc., to the yield per load, as well as the 
prices of the different classes of rough stones, the 
expense of cutting and polishing, and the purchas- 
ing capacity of the public — and what is more, he 
carried these particulars in his head. 

He was in this way enabled to meet experts on 
their own ground — very often much to their 

When Jameson proposed marching on Bulawayo 
in 1893, Rhodes's very wire to him, advising him 
to read Luke xiv. 31, was an injunction to Jameson 
thoroughly to go into details before venturing on 
a decisive step. 

His plans were well laid and prepared, and if 
they did now and then go wrong it certainly was 
not because he had neglected to give full considera- 
tion to the smallest point. 

His great error, of course, stands out strikingly^ 
in his under-estimate of the fighting strength of \ 
the Boers in 1899 ; but here he had little or 1 
nothing upon w^hich to form an estimate, or else 
he was determined that, whatever the cost, war 
was inevitable. 

The Rhodes of 1899, moreover, was not the 
Rhodes of a very few years previous. Had he not 
been failing even then, he would not have been 



peevishly irritable to, and irritated by, Colonel 
Kekewich in Kimberley. 

In all his doings Rhodes believed in maintaining 
absolute secrecy until all danger of a check was 
past, and then he would talk quite freely and 
display his hand openly. 

However, taken all in all, the success of most 
of the schemes organized by Rhodes after their 
primary conception may be said to have been 
largely contributed to by the fact that he had 
thoroughly mastered their details and neglected 

A matter once taken in hand, Rhodes applied 
all his mind and energies to it, and was not 
diverted from his purpose by small obstacles which, 
as a rule, could be swept away. Where large ones 
intervened which he could not batter down he 
used the faculty he possessed for overcoming 
opposition by conciliation, and thus an irresistible 
force meeting an immovable body often resulted 
in its course being deviated — but the force 
went on. 

Rhodes had an absolute gift for concealing his 
real intent without making an actual misstate- 
ment, and he perfectly understood the art of 

In his negotiations with Barney Barnato, where 
the latter apparently held the trump cards, 
although Rhodes had the backing of Lord 
Rothschild, Rhodes puzzled his Jewish adversary 
by suddenly pretending indifference, and then 
altering his role of buyer to that of seller ; he 
exchanged mining claims for shares in Barnato's 


company, thus obtaining a large holding in the 
Barnato properties (the Kimberley mine), and 
proceeded then to increase his holding of shares 
until he held a controlling interest. 

(N.B. — One wonders whether Barnato, at the 
time, thought that in purchasing the claims held 
by Rhodes, and giving shares in payment, he was 
buying Rhodes out.) 

Rhodes's axiom that " every man has his price " 
was vulgarly applied to his suggestion to " square 
the Mahdi," which was freely criticized as a boast 
that the Mahdi could be bought off. 

It is morally certain that in saying that every 
man has his price, and that the Mahdi could be 
"squared," Rhodes felt that he had proved the 
possibilities of " conciliatory " methods, but then 
he had the personality, which he had frequently 
used to evolve order out of chaos — and this strong 
personahty often stood him in good stead. 

In the Bechuanaland disturbance of 1883-4 his 
personality and conciliatory methods averted a 
catastrophe and appeal to arms. 

The natives were satisfied with the annexation 
and the protection promised them, while the Boer 
freebooters were left in undisturbed possession of 
the farms they had jumped and settled down 

When Rhodesia was rushed by the Boers, under 
Ferreira, a conflict was avoided by the exercise of 
tact, and those who came with arms in their hands 
were content to come in under the Chartered 
Company's rule, and to occupy the land allotted to 
them as peaceable settlers. 


Rhodes terminated the Matabele rebellion of 
1896 by a talk to the rebel chiefs, earning the 
name of " the Separator of the Fighting Bulls," 
and he brought them to a right frame of mind 
by " deahng " with them just as he had dealt with 
the Pondos. 

Even in Cape politics he won his greatest 
victories by applying his methods of " concihation." 
He " conciliated " the coloured voters in the 
Cape Colony by propounding and advocating the 
doctrine of " equal rights to every civilized man 
south of the Zambesi " (a deplorable necessity), 
and then in turn propitiated the Dutch wine 
farmers, who were opposed to his native franchise 
policy, by giving them an excise on their brandy, 
together with a heavy duty on imported spirits. 

While Rhodes's methods, in short, were in the 
main forceful, he appreciated to the full his 
peculiar capacity for " dealing with " men, and he 
was assisted in the latter by a certain savoif'-faire, 
which frequently disarmed an opponent, especially 
when Rhodes ** took him into his confidence ! " 



In 1880 Rhodes, then twenty-seven years of age, 
was elected one of the members of the Cape 
House of Assembly for Barkly West, and went 
to Cape Town to take his seat in the House to 
represent the Diamond Diggers. 

Although quite a young man, he was from the 
first looked on as a possible leader — at any rate, 
regarded as a strong man who would go far, and 
some day arrive, as the French say. It was not, 
however, until 1884 that he accomplished anything 
striking ; but his opportunity came when he saw 
his route to the north in danger of being blocked 
by the establishment of small Boer republics in 
the native territories of Bechuanaland. 

Affairs were somewhat uneventful after the 
Boer War of 1881, when, instead of the Boer 
power being crushed once and for all, a shameful 
peace was concluded. 

Then the Republics of Stellaland, Goshen, and 
Rooi Grond were established by freebooters from 
the Transvaal, who seized the land from the 
native Bechuana chiefs Mankoroane, Moshete, 
and Montsoia, and parcelled it out in farms ; and 



here Rhodes first met and crossed swords with 
President Kruger. The Transvaal Government 
had declared these republics to be under its 
protection ; but the loss of the territory to the 
British flag meant a serious thing to Rhodes's 
schemes, as Bechuanaland shut him off from the 
north. Representations to the Imperial Govern- 
ment resulted in a missionary, Mr. John Mackenzie, 
a man of character and determination, being sent 
up as a British resident, and the invasion of the 
Boer filibusters was declared contrary to the 
Convention of London ^ ; but the natives were 
informed that the British Government could not 
support them against freebooters ! Yet in Feb- 
ruary 1884 the ground was proclaimed a British 

Mr. Mackenzie was a negrophilist and much 
prejudiced against the Boers. He was determined 
to oust the Dutchmen, and proclaimed all the 
farms in the new republics the property of the 
British Government. 

The subsequent treatment meted out to Mr. 
Mackenzie has been held by many not alto- 
gether to redound to Rhodes's credit. From 
Mackenzie's first appointment Rhodes certainly 
did all he could to prejudice the High Commis- 
sioner, with whom he always had great influence, 
against him, and have himself sent up to replace 

It might have been highly expedient for Rhodes 

^ The much-discussed Conventiou of London, 1881, under which the 
Transvaal Government was entrusted with the control of their internal 
affairs only, and the British suzerainty established over the South 
African Republic. 


to be on the spot, but Mackenzie was deserving 
of more than an expression of want of confidence. 
His mistake possibly lay in declaring the farms 
the property of the Government and in attempt- 
ing to dispossess the Boers, who had occupied 
them, and replacing them by Britishers. 

He found it impossible to accomplish his aims 
without adequate force ; but upon his requisition- 
ing for men he was recalled, and Rhodes later 
replaced him. 

The British Government stepped in, and deter- 
mined to despatch an expedition, under Sir Charles 
Warren, towards the end of 1884 to occupy 

In November 1884 a Cape Commission, con- 
sisting of the late Sir Thomas Upington, Prime 
Minister, the late Sir Gordon Sprigg, Treasurer, 
Mr. Stephanus Marais, M.L.A. (Paarl), with Mr. 
Sydney Cowper and R. W. Murray, proceeded to 
the disaffected area. 

They interviewed the chiefs Montsoia, Manko- 
roane and Moshete, whose territory had been 
invaded, and found both Moshete and Mankoroane 
determined to wait until Colonel Warren, in whom 
they had implicit confidence, came out ; while 
Moshete was anxious to retain his independence 
and was averse to annexation either to the Trans- 
vaal or the Cape. 

It appeared that in August 1884 over a hundred 
of Montsoia's people were killed by the Boers. 
Montsoia's people had sown on land claimed by 
the Goshenites and were warned off. Some time 
after, the Boers being scattered, the natives burned 


portions of their dorp (village). The freebooters, 
then collected and fully armed, proceeded to reap 
what the natives had sown (also evidently to loot, 
as they brought in some 8,000 head of cattle and 

They were attacked by 150 natives, under 
Christopher Bethell, an Englishman. The natives 
were repulsed and 103 killed. On the following 
day seven natives went out to search for wounded, 
and these, with nine wounded, were also despatched 
— total, 119. Bethell himself was wounded in the 
eye, and his brains were subsequently blown out 
by one of the Boers 

The freebooters declared that the advent of 
Imperial troops would mean a general rising of the 
Dutch-born population, while the Stellalanders 
were in favour of annexation by the Cape Colony. 

The Commission did not effect much, though 
a conference of Cape Ministers decided on annexa- 
tion to the Cape, and matters did not proceed 
further towards a settlement until the arrival of 
Sir Charles Warren's expedition. This expedition 
was accompanied by Rhodes, and a peaceful occu- 
pation was effected, while a complete settlement 
was come to early in 1885, after a meeting with 
the late President, Paul Kruger. 

(This was Rhodes's first meeting with Paul 
Kruger, although Sir Joseph Robinson has said 
that he first introduced the two men in 1886, when 
a meeting was held on the subject of gold titles on 
the Rand.) 

Rhodes strongly objected to Mackenzie being 
present at the interview, and he had a disagreement 


with Sir Charles Warren as to the terms of the 
settlement, Rhodes wishing to give the Boer 
filibusters title to the farms they had settled on 
and Sir Charles supporting Mackenzie in his wish 
to supersede them with British settlers. Rhodes, 
as usual, had his way. 

The territory was annexed as British Bechuana- 
land, and in 1893 ceded to the Cape Colony with 
its border at Mafeking. After the Warren ex- 
pedition, Rhodes returned to the Cape through the 
Transvaal, and for the next few years busied himself 
with preparations for northern expansion. 

About now the Cape Government again urged 
the annexation of Damaraland, which had been 
pressed on the British Government since 1867, and 
which is now German South-West Africa — perhaps 
the most highly mineralized part of Africa. The 
Imperial Government was, however, apathetic. 

Rhodes was included in Sir Thomas Scanlen's 
Ministry of 1884 as Treasurer-General and then 
Minister without portfolio. 

Although the political situation at the Cape was, 
of course, always of great importance to Rhodes if 
he were to have an untrammelled hand in push- 
ing his northern policy, it was just as important to 
him to safeguard the huge interests of De Beers, 
as he relied upon their funds to further his schemes. 

The diamond industry, moreover, depended upon 
control of the market, and in order to obtain this 
control indiscriminate dealings in diamonds had to 
be suppressed. To this end the Illicit Diamond 
Buyers Acts w^ere brought into being. 

Under these Acts the ordinary criminal procedure 


is practically reversed, and instead of an accused 
person being innocent until he is proved guilty, the 
onus of proof of his innocence is thrown upon him. 
The operation of the Act necessitated the trapping 
system, which inevitably opens the door to num- 
berless abuses, which were — at all events, in the old 
days — freely practised, and in consequence of which 
many a perfectly innocent man has undergone long 
periods of imprisonment owing to his inability to 
establish his innocence when circumstantial facts 
were against him. Many of these were scape- 
goats who were paid to endure the punishment 
which should otherwise have been borne by their 
employers ; many of them on liberation were 
repudiated by their employers, and, having no 
remedy, contented themselves with attempts to 
blackmail and bombarding their deceivers with 

The late Barney Barnato received shoals of 
letters from men who opined that he had reaped 
the benefit of their incarceration, and they drove 
him to a state of nervousness bordering on frenzy. 
These letters, which contained dire threats, were 
rudely embroidered with skull and cross-bones and 
coffins, etc. He was known during the last months 
of his life to leave his bed in the early hours of the 
morning in his pyjamas, and, barefooted, walk a 
mile and more to the house of a friend for protec- 
tion from imaginary pursuers, crying out, '* They're 
after me ; they're after me ! " No wonder that 
he drank freely, and finally ended his life in a 
frenzied attempt to escape from the supposed 
vengeance of one of his victims. 

1 888] THE I.D.B. ACTS 67 

If a man had a grievance against another, and 
wished to " put him away," all he had to do was to 
secrete a stone about the other's person or drop it 
into his tobacco-pouch and then give information. 
The victim was searched, the stone found, and as 
he was unable to account for his possession of the 
stone, he would be convicted and sentenced to 
anything from two to ten years' hard labour. The 
penalty was twenty years' hard labour under the 
later Act. 

The I.D.B. Act was looked on as an iniquitous 
piece of legislation — however necessary in the 
interests of the diamond industry — and its un- 
popularity was proved a few years ago when a 
Kimberley diamond-broker was charged on a 
number of counts (nineteen I think in all) with 
infringing the Act. Knowing that an unprejudiced 
jury would not be obtained in Kimberley, he was 
tried in Cape Town, and the case was apparently 
clearly proved. The judge summed up dead 
against the accused, but the jury, after retiring, 
brought in a verdict of " not guilty " on all the 
counts, the verdict being received with applause 
in a packed court. The judge was speechless at 
first, and then addressed the jury, saying that he 
had told them in as clear words as he could employ 
that the man was guilty, and he left it to them to 
reconcile their verdict with their consciences. In 
the whole course of many years' experience on the 
bench he said he had never heard a more dis- 
graceful verdict. Then turning to the accused, 
he said curtly, " The jury says you are not guilty ; 
you may go." 


De Beers always had a certain number of 
nominees in the House of Assembly. The Diamond 
Diggings were almost wholly represented by 
members interested in De Beers, while their funds 
were freely used to support candidates in other 
constituencies. Grants for schools, athletic grounds, 
etc., were freely made, prizes offered at agricul- 
tural shows, and there were few doubtful con- 
stituencies where a glimpse of the long purse 
of De Beers was not obtained. 

The Namaqualand copper-fields and railway 
were developed by De Beers while Francis Oats 
(a director) and Rhodes contested the seats in 
1898 ; the latter stood at the same time for Barkly 
West, and on his election for both places decided 
in favour of his old constituency, and his place for 
Namaqualand was taken by Sir Pieter Faure, a 
staunch friend. 

Stellenbosch, WeUington, and Paarl were all 
strong Bond' strongholds. In 1897 and 1898 
Rhodes, through his agents, commenced buying 
fruit-farms in these districts from their Bond 
owners, with a view to settling men on them about 
whose politics there could be no question. 

The former owners were furious when they 
discovered who the actual purchaser of the farms 
was. They were repeatedly warned from the 
pulpits of the Dutch Reformed Church that De 
Beers were buying the land, and they were begged 
not to sell. Rhodes made himself responsible for 
one-third of the purchase price and settlement of 
the farms and De Beers for one-third, while Alfred 

' Afrikander Bond — the South African Nationalist Association. 

1898] DE BEERS 69 

Beit put up the other third. The farms were, 
of course, a good commercial investment, but a 
lot of money was spent on them, and they were 
extravagantly handled. T believe that they are 
now, however, giving a return, and the fruit, jam, 
and preserves, etc., from " Rhodes's fruit-farms " 
are seen everywhere. 

It was hoped that the votes of the employees at 
the De Beers dynamite factory in the Stellen- 
bosch Division would assist to win seats for that 
district from the Bond. The factory was erected 
at the cost of about a million, and here, too, a lot 
of expense was incurred in buildings which were 
on the style of architecture of Groote Schuur 
and furnished with solid teak. It was a great 
disappointment to find, however, when the first 
election came along, that only a quota of the 
employees who had been placed on the voters' 
roll remained, the rest having been got rid of in 
some mysterious way or removed to Kimberley, 
and the cause was divined only when it was dis- 
covered that one of the principal overseers was 
a rank Bondsman ! 

Rhodes argued that De Beers took an enormous 
amount of money out of the Cape Colony, and 
should therefore be made to pay for it ; but it was 
rather a horse of another colour when it was 
proposed to impose a direct tax upon diamonds. 
He also submitted to his co-directors that the 
diamond mines could not last for ever, and that 
De Beers should invest in other enterprises which 
would outlast the mining industry. Needless to 
say, Rhodes had no difficulty in making the 


directors at Kimberley (the local board) see eye 
to eye with him — he said it was to be so and 
so, and so it was — but he experienced considerable 
opposition to his methods from some of the 
directors on the London Board, notably F. S. 
Philipson-Stow, formerly a life governor; he, in 
1897, moved a resolution at a meeting of directors 
in London to the effect that the Board of 
Directors should not launch the Company upon 
a political campaign in South Africa or elsewhere 
and appropriate its funds to carry out that object 
in the manner proposed. He more particularly 
objected to the way in which the expenditure of 
considerable funds was entrusted to an individual 
director with political ambition (Rhodes, of course) 
and who wished to gratify that ambition under the 
pretext of promoting the welfare of the share- 
holders in mining ventures in distant parts of 
Africa away from the Company's centre of action, 
and in metals or ores with which the Company had 
hitherto had nothing to do and for which there 
was no real foundation nor necessity. In the past, 
he said, when it was thought expedient to promote 
the candidature of any member of the Company 
for Parliamentary honours, the funds — so far as 
he was concerned — were subscribed by the other 
members of the Board privately, and no attempt 
was made to convert the Company into a political 
machine. Should it, he added, again be thought 
necessary to give similar support to members of 
the Board or political candidates having the 
Company's interest at heart, who could not afford 
to defray the expenses of a contested election. 

1890] MINISTRY OF 1890 71 

he was prepared, as formerly, to subscribe his 
quota thereto. 

Lord Rothschild, too, at this time, on behalf of 
the French shareholders, lodged a protest against 
the use of De Beers' funds for any purpose other 
than the ordinary business of De Beers. " Our 
business," he said, "is to get diamonds, and we 
are not a philanthropic association." He objected 
chiefly to the school grants. In spite of this, 
Rhodes went merrily on devoting the funds to 
what purpose he pleased, and when he met the 
London Board made himself so unpleasant that 
they were glad to approve of his actions. 

In 1890, when Rhodes formed his Ministry of 
himself, Merriman, Sauer, Sivewright, Rose-Innes, 
and P. H. Faure, he was certainly diffident about 
accepting office, as he felt that his real work lay 
in the north. Then, again, there was a large 
number of members on each side of the House 
who did not like the idea of his having absolute 
power in the north and his being at the same 
time Premier of the Cape, not to speak of his 
chairmanship of De Beers. He was associated 
with the Bond, who had practically put him into 
power, and at the same time his work in the north 
gained him the sympathy of the rest of the House. 
There was no opposition to speak of ; but in view 
of Rhodes 's association with the Bond, the Pro- 
gressive Association was formed, of which Sir T. E. 
Fuller was chairman. It became a sort of local 
Imperial Association to watch and guard against 
the ascendancy of the Bond, whose domination 
over Rhodes they feared. Later their functions 



became more those of an electioneering committee] 
of the whole party, and it formed the nucleus ol 
the Imperial Party which put Jameson into power. 
It had no backbone to speak of when it first^i 
started, but after Rhodes's fall and he became^l 
e natura their leader, it was a very different party, 
containing such men as Sir Edgar Walton, Sir 
Thomas Smartt, and Sir Henry Juta. Rhodes 
certainly gave cause for alarm, as he would 
pretend he did not care a damn about the Cape 
Colony and was quite content with his north, 
which, he said, was quite independent of Cape 
ports and Cape railways in view of his railway 
from Beira ; he even spoke of a union being 
formed in the north and the Cape left to its 
own devices. This from the Premier was rather 
disconcerting, and he therefore gave an under- 
taking that nothing he did would be incompatible 
with his dual position as Premier and managing 
director of the B.S.A. Company, and the thought 
that he had broken faith in that matter in connec- 
tion with the Raid caused him more distress than 
perhaps anything, although Mr. Joseph Chamber- 
lain found it incumbent on him to say later that 
Rhodes's personal honour was not affected. 

The Bond was virtually in power under Rhodes's 
Premiership, though he chose his ministers as he 
pleased. The Bond was not strong enough to 
take office, and the late Hon. J. H. Hofmeyr 
simply sat on the back benches and pulled the 
strings for the Bond Party, and preferred to work 
with Rhodes. They were the two ablest heads 
in South Africa, and they were at one on a 


university scheme for the Cape — in fact, Rhodes 
was always at one with him qua education. 

John Hofmeyr (" Onze Jan ") had great ideas 
and great ideals, and his pet idea was the estab- 
lishment of a great South African university, 
which is now, under union, in a fair way to 
materialize. Hofmeyr favoured his own old college 
at Stellenbosch as the chief centre of South 
African learning. 

In 1893 Merriman, Sauer, Rose-Innes, and Sir 
James Sivewright resigned their portfolios on 
account of Sivewright having given to a personal 
friend, J. D. Logan, the contract for refreshment- 
rooms on the Cape Government railways without 
calling for tenders ; and Rhodes reconstructed his 

The new Ministry was composed of himself 
as Prime Minister and Secretary for Native 
Affairs ; Sir Gordon Sprigg, Treasurer-General ; 
W. P. Schreiner, Attorney- General ; Sir John 
Frost, Secretary for Agriculture ; and John Laing, 
Secretary for Public Works and Railways. 

Before forming this Ministry, Rhodes approached 
the Chief Justice, Sir Henry (now Baron) de 
Villiers and inquired whether the latter was 
prepared to take the Premiership and form a 
ministry. They had one or two interviews, and 
Sir Henry expressed his willingness to undertake 
the task, submitted the names of his proposed 
ministers, and wrote that he would call on a 
Sunday morning. He called, but Rhodes was not 
in. He wrote next morning, and called again, only 
to be again disappointed. The next day the names 


of the new Cabinet were gazetted, with Rhodes 
himself as Prime Minister. He never intended 
that any one but he should form a Cabinet, but 
merely wished to get the Chief Justice's ideas and 
discover what colleagues he would select ! 

As to the Afrikander Bond, this was inaugurated 
about 1885, and its objects summarized were the 
preservation of South Africa as a solid nation 
under its own flag. 

Although the Bond leaders later declared that 
the true purpose of the association was the pre- 
servation of South Africa as a solid nation as an 
integral part of the British Empire, it was, after 
all, an association founded on the racial basis, as 
its very name implies, and it became a very dan- 
gerous instrument in the hands of unscrupulous poli- 
ticians as soon as parties divided on racial lines — in 
fact, its existence tended to defeat the very objects 
towards which its leaders declared it was working. 
Its official language was the Taal, its organ the 
Dutch newspaper, " Ons I^and " (Our Country), and 
its head J. H. Hofmeyr (" Onze Jan "). 

The fact that certain branches of the Bond 
expressed open rebellion during the Boer War, 
however, must not in itself condemn the whole 
Bond on an accusation of disloyalty. When 
German Wilhelm congratulated Kruger in his 
famous telegram on repelling Jameson, and applied 
to the Portuguese to allow German marines to 
land at Delagoa Bay, " Ons Land " severely took 
him to task and informed him, in unmeasured 
terms, that German interference was not required 
nor sought in South Africa. 


Rhodes and Sir Thomas Smartt were both 
members of the Bond at one time. 

The Bond members found it necessary to make 
strong protestations of loyalty during the War, 
and in reply to an address at Worcester Lord 
Milner said, " Loyal ? Of course you are loyal. 
It would be most monstrous were you not loyal ! " 

Rhodes's Glen Grey Act was perhaps one of 
his finest pieces of legislation — the first frank at- 
tempt to deal with the problem of native labour, 
and is a real effort to make the natives work, 
or, in his words, *'to recognize the dignity of 
labour." One of the features of the Act, and 
perhaps the most important, is the allotment of 
land to natives under individual title, and is 
admirably adapted to fulfil its purpose — i.e. to 
make the native work. Under the Act all able- 
bodied natives not owning allotments of land had 
to pay an annual tax, provided they were not in 
bona-fide employment. I think very little was 
collected in the form of this tax, as those not 
on allotments did not seek local employment to 
earn the amount of the tax, but were recruited 
for work on the Rand. The labour clause in the 
Act Rhodes termed a " gentle stimulus." 

By the principle of giving land to each family 
of natives, under individual title, the men have 
their own land, and they have to improve that 
land, and the land having been so allotted a 
large number have to go out and work, because 
for some there would be no land at all. Whether 
the application of such means meets with the 
approval of the " faddist of Exeter Hall " or not 


is beside the question, but from the point of view 
of the man who, Hke Rhodes, wants to make 
the native work, this legislation is highly efficient, 
and mayhap the day is not far distant when its 
application to all the native territories and native 
reservations will bring about a solution of the 
native-labour difficulty, and consequently of many 
others by which we are beset. 

It is now generally accepted that under the 
federation towards which Rhodes was trying to 
steer public inclination his policy was to secure 
" Equal rights for all civilized men south of the 
Zambesi." As a matter of fact, when Rhodes 
used the phrase he employed the words " Equal 
rights for every white man south of the Zambesi," 
and so he was correctly reported in ** The Eastern 
Province Herald." A copy of the paper was 
immediately sent to him by the South African 
Political Association,^ and he was significantly 
asked whether he was correctly reported. It must 
be remembered that it was on the eve of a general 
election, and the coloured vote in the Western 
Province is no inconsiderable one, while the natives 
of Tembuland and Aliwal North practically control 
those constituencies ; and Rhodes therefore posted 
back the paper, on the margin of which he wrote : 

" My Motto is— 

" Equal Rights for every civilized man south of 
the Zambezi. 

" What is a civilized man ? A man, whether 

^ An organization of the coloured voters of Cape Colony. In Cape 
Colony, as in Rhodesia, colour is no bar to the granting of the franchise 
to natives who otherwise possess the necessary qualifications. 

1 893] DELAGOA BAY 77 

white or black, who has sufficient education to write 
his name — has some property or works. In fact, 
is not a loafer." 

Between 1891 and 1893 Rhodes made an attempt 
to acquire Delagoa Bay, the Portuguese port 
which is the natural port for the Transvaal, as 
Beira is for Rhodesia. 

The bay might have been purchased for a song 
at one time, but the opportunity was lost. Rhodes, 
acting in conjunction with Sir James Sivewright, 
and supported by Lord Rothschild, reopened 
negotiations with the Portuguese Government in 
Lisbon through Baron Merck, and that Govern- 
ment was prepared to consider a proposal for 
purchase of the bay, Portugal's finances being in 
a very low state. The negotiations were very 
near succeeding in 1893, the sum of £1,300,000 
(the price asked by Portugal) having been offered, 
when a new bidder appeared in the field, surmised 
to be J. B. (Sir Joseph) Robinson, probably acting 
on behalf of the South African RepubHc. The 
Government at Lisbon, with the usual procrastina- 
tion of the Portuguese, now began to shilly-shally, 
and eventually Baron Merck withdrew from the ne- 
gotiations in disgust. The whole fact of the matter 
seems to be that the Government were always will- 
ing to sell not only the port, but the whole of the 
colony if they could, but were deterred by fear 
of the people. The ordinary Portuguese is proud 
of his country's former glory and history of * its 
conquests oversea, to which the existence of the 
colonies is witness, and the common people, albeit 
they know that there is not a " miirei " {Ss\ ^d,) 


in the Treasury, would be averse to parting with an 
acre of land in the colonies won by Diaz and d' Albu- 
querque, and the Government probably feared a 
revolution on consenting to sell Delagoa Bay.^ 

The Portuguese East African possessions, as well 
as their affairs in India and the East, are under 
the administration at Goa, and all matters are 
submitted to Lisbon through Goa. On Colonel 
Machado taking office at Goa he was, in a short 
term, much incensed at what he considered most 
unjust treatment accorded to Portugal : 

1. In respect to merchandise transhipped at 
Bombay for Goa, on which import duties were 
levied by the Government of India, notwith- 
standing that no duties were levied on goods 
going through Goanese territory to the Southern 
Mahratta country ; and 

2. In respect of prohibitive rates charged by the 
South Mahratta Railway over the bit of line con- 
necting their trunk-line with the West of India 
Portuguese Guaranteed Railway, in order that 
goods which would naturally find their outlet at 
Goa should be sent over their long haul to Bombay. 
He felt that these Portuguese goods should be 
treated as if they were bonded at Bombay and 
not taxed by the Government of India, and he 
urged upon his Government a policy of retalia- 
tion against England both in Indian and African 
ports. Apart from Indian considerations the matter 
was of great importance (1) in the interests of 

^ To the common people of Portugal the names of Bartholomew 
Diaz^ Tristan d'Acunha, and Alphonso d' Albuquerque are what Drake's, 
Frobisher's, and Hawkins's are to British. 

1 897] DELAGOA BAY 79 

Rhodesia, and (2) in view of the position at 
Delagoa Bay. The Customs Treaty between the 
Indian Government and Portugal came to an 
end in 1892, and was not renewed ; but in 1897 
it was proposed that to meet the difficulties 
negotiations for a new customs union be opened, 
and it was suggested to the Foreign Office that 
in addition the British Government might give 
Portugal substantial financial assistance without 
cost to England by guaranteeing the capital of the 
West Indian Portuguese Railway, amounting to 
£1,350,000 at 2J per cent. 

Portugal was paying £73,000 per annum on 
£1,150,000, being at the rate of 5 and 6 per cent., 
while, if guaranteed by Great Britain, they would 
pay 2J per cent, on £1,350,000, or £33,750, a 
saving of £39,250 per annum. 

The security of the guarantee was to be the 
customs receipts at Goa, payments for salt under 
the treaty, and the revenues of Portugal itself to 
make up any deficit. This, it was hoped, would 
allay the feeling of irritation felt by the Portuguese 
Government and cement Great Britain's friendship, 
which appeared desirable in view of the early 
expected announcement of the Berne award in 
regard to Delagoa Bay.^ 

A similar policy was proposed in regard to 
Delagoa Bay — the British to guarantee the sum 
required to meet the Berne award and the con- 
struction of harbour works at Delagoa Bay up to 

' This was an adjudication on the claims of the Macmurdo family, 
who demanded compensation for the forcible seizure by Portugal 
of Macmurdo's railway, and the result of the arbitration was expected 
in 1897. 


a maximum of £3,500,000 at 2| per cent, thus 
saving the Portuguese Government, without cost 
to England, £122,500 per annum— the difference 
between 2| per cent, and 6 per cent, which the 
Portuguese Government would probably have to 
pay. In this case also the revenue of the railway, 
the customs, and the harbour receipts would be 
hypothecated to the service of the debt. In 
addition, conditions would be imposed which would 
practically secure for England the administrative 
position at Loren90 Marques. 

It was also suggested that a customs union for 
the East Indies and South Africa should be at 
once arranged on the lines of the treaty between 
India and Portugal of 1879, which worked in India 
with such satisfactory results. Such, then, were 
the proposals before the Foreign Office in 1897, 
resulting merely in the modus vivendi as pre- 
liminary treaty ; though it is possible that with 
the advent of union of the southern states a three- 
cornered customs union on the lines shadowed 
may be established. An enormous amount of 
British and South African capital is invested in 
Loren90 Marques in w^harfage, piers, and in 
vacant land abutting on the railway premises and 

In 1894 Rhodes "dealt with" the Pondos, over 
whom Sigcau, the paramount chief, was losing 
control. The Pondos are the most cruel of South 
African tribes, and most superstitious, and there- 
fore most witcli-doctoi^-YididQn. They probably 
alone in South Africa understand torture as a fine 
art. Rhodes visited Sigcau, and with very little 


trouble the territory was settled and annexed to 
the Cape Colony. 

After the Raid general topsy-turvydom existed 
amongst the members of the Cape Parliament, 
except that the solid phalanx of the Bond openly 
sympathized with Kriiger, With the inevitable 
result that the House divided on racial liries; 
Schreiner (who did not stand again for Barkly 
West, but for Malmesbury) and Merriman led the 
Bond, and the Raid was referred to as a filibustering 
expedition even by Merriman, who evidently forgot 
that when the Mashonaland pioneers got to Mount 
Hampden he wired to Rhodes to turn them loose 
on the Portuguese Pungwe before the Germans 
anticipated him. 

After 1895 Rhodes felt keenly the loss of the 
intimacy of a great many men who had been 
friends and who had been at one with him in 
many of his ideas, such as J. H. Hofmeyr, whose 
ambition for a great teaching university so much 
accorded with Rhodes's own ideas. Hofmeyr and 
others kept very aloof, and Rhodes continually 
taunted him with remaining behind the scenes and 
pulling the strings, instead of coming out into the 
open. He referred to him as the " mole of Camp 
Street," a name bestowed on him by Merriman, 
who said that one knew by the molehills that he 
had been in the vicinity, but one did not see the 
damage done by him beneath the surface. 
Merriman did not at all like Rhodes giving him 
away as the originator of the nickname. It 
was different with W. P. Schreiner, as Rhodes 
often asked why Schreiner did not come and 


see him and meet him on a social if not poHtical 

As to the Progressive Party, on Rhodes's retur: 
after the Raid Commission he became at once th 
leader of the party. Their leaders were not ver 
stiff in the backbone, and many were poor-hearted 
from Rhodes's standpoint, and must have roused in 
him feelings akin to what he possessed in regard to 
those of his countrymen whom he credited wit 
" unctuous rectitude." 

The positive childishness of the objection of th^ 
Party led by Sir T. Fuller and Arthur Douglass 
to Jameson as a member of the House before he 
had repented in sackcloth and ashes, must have 
aroused his ire, and he never spoke more truly 
than when he said the party needed him and not he 
them. Jameson, in deference to their wishes, did 
not stand for Port Elizabeth in 1898, but for 
Kimberley in 1900, when he referred to them as 
*' not very sturdy, but very prominent Progressives." 
Had it not been for Rhodes, it is doubtful whether 
they would have been a party at all, and whether 
Sir Gordon Sprigg would have again occupied the 
Treasury Bench. 

After the general election of 1898, when Rhodes 
was again returned for Barkly West with James 
Hill, Sir Gordon Sprigg formed a ministry which 
included Rose-Innes as Attorney-General. Rhodes 
was consulted as to the selection of Rose-Innes, 
and he laconically replied that he would " swallow 
a mugwump if it would help the Governor." 

Although Rhodes always had the idea of a 
federation of the South African states and 




colonies before him, no practical steps towards 
a federation or union were taken during his 

His aim, moreover, was a federation and not a 
union in the form which has since been established, 
and it is doubtful whether he would have pledged 
Rhodesia to enter a union constituted as it is. 
However, with him it was merely a cherished ideal, 
and in its consummation he had no part. 

The last active political agitation at the Cape 
that Rhodes engineered was the proposed tem- 
porary suspension of the Constitution, during which 
order might be restored out of the chaos that 
existed owing to the war. 

It was impossible for the Cape Government to 
restore order, as apart from the question of finance 
many of the members of the Cape Parliament were 
in sympathy with the Republican forces, and 
thousands of their constituents were in open 

The steps taken by the Cape Government to 
repress rebellion were hopelessly ineffective, and 
a mass of debt was being piled up. 

The only remedy appeared to be the handing 
over of affairs to the Imperial Government until 
peace and order were restored, and it was hoped 
that a readjustment of constituencies could be 
made under a new Constitution. 

In 1902 Rhodes was lying ill at Muizenberg, 
Sir Gordon Sprigg being Prime Minister. The 
Bond was then in a majority, but while the war 
continued did not attempt to turn the Progres- 
sives out. 



The idea of a temporary suspension of the. 
Constitution originated with Lord Mibier, th 
High Commissioner, but Joseph Orpen wrote 
Rhodes and strongly advocated a petition being 
presented to create an interregnum, during which 
matters might be so readjusted as to secure fairer 
representation for the towns and ports, which were 
in the main progressive, and a curtaihnent of the 
back-veld ^ Boer, who was ruling the country, 
although representing a minority. 

Rhodes enthusiastically embraced the idea, and 
a petition was drafted and signed by all the 
members of the Progressive Party, excepting the 
members of the Ministry. Sir Gordon Sprigg was 
approached, but he refused to sign, as did the other 
ministers, with the exception of Dr. Smartt, who 
immediately resigned his portfolio and was replaced 
by Arthur Douglass. Sir Gordon repeated Pitt's 
utterance, " I know that I am able to save the 
country and that no one else can." This state- 
ment was received with a certain amount of 

Failing to get the signatures of a majority 
of the members of the House, the petition was 
shelved, but one result was to take the leadership 
out of Sir Gordon Sprigg's hands and place it in 
Dr. Jameson's. One of the effects was curious, as 
one afternoon in the House of Assembly a resolu- 
tion was moved by one of the Progressives, and on 
the Speaker putting the question the " Ayes " 
outshouted the " Noes," and a division was called 
for — whereupon ensued the ridiculous spectacle of 

^ JBflc/f-ve/rf— isolated country ; cf. Australia, "back-block." 


the Prime Minister, with his four ministers, leaving 
his own party and solemnly crossing the floor, 
amid roars of laughter, to vote with the Opposition 
against the motion proposed by one of his own 
party ! This effort to secure a temporary suspen- 
sion of the Constitution was long made use of by 
the Bond Party and held up to constituencies as 
an attempt to interfere with sacred constitutional 
rights with about as much fairness as the lies 
disseminated by the Liberals at Home anent the 
cruelties practised on Chinamen at the Rand. 

It was hoped at one time, and in fact expected 
by many, that Rhodes would contest a constituency 
in the Imperial Parliament in the Unionist cause ; 
and it is quite probable that had his physical 
strength held and his presence not been so neces- 
sary to South Africa, as it was after 1895, he would 
have sought a seat in the House of Commons, 
where he would have had greater scope for further- 
ing his main idea of a United Empire. 

From the time that he made the remarkable 
will leaving his wealth for the extension of the 
British Empire, his purpose never altered — to 
devote his life to the construction of a world- 
wide Empire, whose scattered portions should be 
closely knit by common ties of sentiment and 
mutual interest. But as affairs eventuated he 
had to devote himself to the smaller task of 
working first for the federation of the colonies 
and states ^ of South Africa, the completion of 
which he did not even live to see. While he 
was a Unionist in politics (Unionism he regarded 
as synonymous with Imperialism), for the con- 



summation of his ideal of a Federated Empire 
he considered that a form of Home Rule was 
necessary in Ireland. He regarded a settlement 
with Ireland as the key of the federal system — a 
step towards perfect Home Rule for every part of 
the Empire, but — "with control from Westminster." 
It was by Rochfort Maguire and Swift MacNeill 
that a meeting was arranged between Parnell and 
Rhodes, when the latter and the late W. E. 
Gladstone were at one qua the latter 's Home Rule 
policy. Rhodes saw that a form of Home Rule 
in Ireland could be used as a stepping-stone to 
Imperial federation, and he had discussed the 
matter with Gladstone, who was favourably 
impressed by Rhodes's arguments on his idea for 
an Imperial council or parliament at Westminster 
in which the colonies would have representation. 
It was a step towards the welding into a united 
whole of the different units of the Empire. Ireland 
he was regarding as one of the units — a separate 
dominion, as Canada and Australia are to-day. 
Ireland was to have its parliament, but subject to 
control from Westminster, as are the parliaments 
of the Over-Sea Dominions — practically respon- 
sible government for Ireland. Parnell gave 
Rhodes his views, and declared that he could come 
to terms with Gladstone, and Rhodes certainly 
dissuaded him from the policy of disruption. 
Rhodes then made a subscription of £10,000 to 
the funds of the Irish Party, money being badly 
needed if the agitation in favour of flome Rule 
was to be continued. Parnell promised to refrain 
from violent speeches and exhortations, but in 

1 893] IKISH HOME RULE 87 

every way in his power to bring his followers 
to reasonable consideration of their proposed 

The Irish Nationalist leader, however, not long 
afterwards made an exceedingly bitter speech, and 
exhorted the NationaHsts to " use any means " to 
attain their object. He justified an appeal to arms, 
and preached the Jesuitical doctrine of the end 
justifying the means. Later on, however, he 
apologized to Rhodes, and said he had spoken in 
the heat of the moment and without thinking. 

The Imperial Parliament, through the Secretary 
of State for the Colonies, has to-day the right of 
veto, seldom it is true exercised, over the laws 
passed by colonial legislatures, and the Imperial 
Parliament certainly can frame legislation binding 
the colonies ; but in practice this Imperial control 
over local executives without representation is 
deemed impossible. The difference as to Ireland 
was that it is part of the United Kingdom, and 
the Over-Sea Dominions would only really be 
incorporated in the Union of Empire upon their 
obtaining representation in the Imperial Parlia- 
ment. The federation Rhodes had in view would 
start with Ireland, already a part of the United 
Kingdom, as the first of the dominions which 
would afterwards form the units of a larger world- 
wide union, and which would gradually be incor- 
porated therein. But for the purpose of this 
federation he deemed it necessary that Ireland 
should revert to the position she might have held 
had she never become a portion of the United 
Kingdom, and she would have her responsible 


parliament and executive under control of th( 
Imperial Parliament at Westminster, in which sh< 
was to have representation, as the other Over-Sej 
Dominions w^ere to have as they qualified foi 
admission into the Imperial Federation. 

Another subscription for political purposes, am 
incidentally also for the purpose of furthering th< 
scheme of Imperial federation, was made b; 
Rhodes, and that was a gift of £5,000 to the fun( 
of the Liberal Party through Schnadhorst. 

A rumour was afterwards circulated that Rhodes 
had " bought " the Liberal Party, and in a speed 
Campbell-Bannerman stigmatized the statement 
that Rhodes had contributed to the funds of th< 
party as *' a lie." The correspondence was then 
published, proving that the gift had been made and 
that the condition upon which it was granted was 
that the pohcy of the party should not be to 
" scuttle out of Egypt." The abandonment of 
Egypt meant everything to Rhodes's trans- 
continental schemes, and he was afraid of the 
withdrawal from Egypt, just as the Liberal Party, 
under Gladstone's leadership, had w^eakly con- 
cluded a dishonourable peace with the Boers in 
1881, and dealt the death-blow to South African 
Britishers' belief in the faith of English statesmen. 
In making this donation to the funds of the 
Liberal Party, he also stipulated that any scheme 
of Home Rule for Ireland should include repre- 
sentation at Westminster. Otherwise, as he 
brusquely said, he " wanted his money back." He 
had unspeakable contempt for the Nonconformist 
Radical, whom he credited with " unctuous recti- 


tude," and he had good reason to be apprehensive, 
having in mind : 

L The refusal to annex Damaraland, which, 
as German South- West Africa, is turning out one 
of the most highly mineralized areas in Africa,, 
besides being a superb cattle country, some 
300,000 square miles in extent. 

2. The surrender to the Boers in 1881. 

3. How nearly Bechuanaland was absorbed by 
the Transvaal in 1883-4. Had Kruger been 
allowed peaceful possession of Bechuanaland the 
way to the north was blocked, and in a very 
short while Matabeleland and Mashonaland (now 
Rhodesia) would have been Transvaal territory. 

4. The sacrifice of Charles Gordon at Khartoum 
and the seriously suggested evacuation of Egypt 
and Uganda. 

5. The assistance refused to Sir Harry Johnston 
in Central Africa, which, but for Rhodes, would 
have resulted in the loss of British Central Africa 
and probably Uganda. 

While Rhodes never said much on the subject 
of Tariff Reform, as it did not enter much into the 
scope of his work, he held that any scheme of 
reform should include colonial preference, and 
maintained that a system of reciprocity would do 
much to further inter-dominion trade. He was 
not greatly in favour of the establishment of 
colonial industries, at all events in South Africa, 
especially of what he called ** bastard industries " 
— the manufacture from locally produced raw 
material of articles which are manufactured in the 
United Kingdom for export. He rather favoured 


the increase of production in the colonies of the 
raw material which would be exported to Englam 
and exchanged for the manufactured article. H( 
said that every blanket made in the Cape Colom 
meant less work for the factory hands in Yorkshire 
One industry he seriously hoped to establish ii 
South Africa, however, was diamond-cutting. He 
did think that it was absurd that diamonds should 
have to be sent to Holland for cutting, but I 
do not think he ever took any active steps to 
establish the industry in South Africa. 

As to a successor to Rhodes in South Africa, 
there was only one Rhodes, and his shoes cannot be 
filled. Sir Starr Jameson has the loyal support of the 
Imperialists at the Cape and throughout the Union, 
but he does not fill the place Rhodes occupied. 

Sir Abe Bailey had at one time an idea that he 
was destined to succeed Rhodes, and in many ways 
he reminded one of him. He contested and won 
Rhodes's old seat (Barkly West), and purchased 
the house at Muizenberg that Rhodes had com- 
menced to build but left unfinished. 

He became one of the Progressive Whips, but 
on the formation of the Jameson Ministry he 
resigned his seat and returned to the Transvaal, 
and an amusing story is told of his meeting with 
Sammie Marks there. 

" Aha," the latter is reported to have said, " my 
dear Abe : it may be a very natural idea to you 
that the mantle of Rhodes has descended upon 
your shoulders, but I, having had some experience 
of second-hand clothing, candidly tell you the 
mantle won't fit." 




In Rhodesia Rhodes was looked upon as "the 
Father of the People," to whom every one brought 
his or her troubles in the sure hope of relief of 
some sort. Did any one want a start in business or 
in farming, did he require a span of oxen or a disc 
plough, had he lost his cattle through disease, his 
crops through locusts, he usually complacently 
waited until he could get at " the Old Man." 
" Wait until the Old Man comes," was the balm 
administered to the wounded spirit. If a man had 
a grievance against the Chartered Company, the 
railway, there was always a final appeal to Caesar. 

Jourdan says that in Rhodesia Rhodes was as- 
sailed constantly by a "crowd of beggars." I prefer 
not to employ the word, which is hardly applicable 
to the Rhodesian of those days. They were not 
beggars in the ordinary sense of the term. Those 
who appealed to him were in the main men who had 
fought for the country, had settled there, and usually 
had real grievances in the shape of cattle, crops, 
and goods lost during the Rebellion, by insufficient 
police protection, or deemed that they had received 
inadequate compensation from the Chartered Com- 



pany. Certainly there were numerous others whi 
made for Rhodes on the ofF-chance of gettinj 
something — anything — but these were easily deall 
with. It was seldom, however, that a man pai< 
Rhodes an altogether disinterested visit, and h< 
naturally dropped into his well-known habit ol 
greeting a visitor with, " Well, and what do you 
want ? " On one occasion at Bulawayo one of his 
brothers called on him and was greeted with, " And 
what do you want ? " " None of your damned 
money, anyway ! " was the sturdy reply. " Well," 
replied Rhodes, turning away, "it is the first time 
in your life that you didn't." On some occasions 
he would, however, become stubborn and refuse 
to listen to anybody. One case in particular occurs 
to my mind of a woman who came to see him in 
Bulawayo, and said that she and her husband, who 
was ill, were stranded and starving, since they had 
been brought up by some man to start a business 
under misrepresentation. The woman completely 
broke down, but Rhodes would not do anything 
for them, and marched out of the room. I felt that 
it was a genuine case, and gave her £40 out of my 
own pocket, and they are to-day conducting a 
flourishing business in Bulawayo. Rhodes came in 
to me a few days later, and said, " I hope you did 
something for that poor woman the other day ? " 
I told him what I had done, and he immediately 
wrote out a cheque for the amount. Rhodes, 
as a rule, lent a ready ear to applicants for 
assistance, and during the period from the middle 
of June to the end of October, 1897, I estimated 
that he had spent in assisting people money at 


the rate of £100 a day ; then there must be 
taken into account the aid he gave to the weaker 
vessels who were stranded and helped to get out 
of the country. 

He took a personal interest in the work indi- 
viduals were carrying on in various parts of Rho- 
desia, and any man who was likely to make a good 
settler always received every encouragement from 

He often provided men with the funds needed 
to go off on a holiday. 

There was one such case where a Dutchman got 
a cheque from him to go down country for a change, 
and he went to Kimberley, but did not return. 

Some time afterwards he went to Rhodes in 
Kimberley in distress and asked for assistance. 
Rhodes, having had a talk to him, said, " You left 
my country and never went back, and yet come 
and ask me for help " ; then, turning to Jourdan, he 
went on, " I don't think it is a deserving case, but 
for his damned cheek tell Pickering (secretary of 
De Beers) to send him £100." 

He was, as all rich men are, inundated with 
begging letters from all parts of the world. A 
young woman would write for a sum of money to 
get married on, a man would ask for a lump sum 
for the naive reason that he had never possessed so 
much in his life (nor was likely to), and wanted to 
experience the sensation. Applications for appoint- 
ments in scores ; and the wastepaper-basket fondly 
embraced copies of thousands of testimonials, 
avouching their owners to be possessed of every 
qualification and virtue on earth, excepting, perhaps. 


modesty. When in England, nearly every friend 
or acquaintance had a young man in whom he was 
interested, who wanted to go to Rhodesia, and 
these were usually disposed of by being sent out to 
the tender mercies of the Regimental Sergeant- 
Major of the B.S.A. Police. Many of these 
carried out personal letters from Mr. Rhodes some- 
thing as follows: 

" Dear 

" I send you So-and-so. He is a good 
cricketer and ought to make a good policeman. ..." 

Rhodes was often sadly at fault in selecting his 
subjects for assistance, and his secretary for the time 
being would make all inquiries he could about the 
probable recipient of a cheque, and recommend 
'* the case " or not according to the information he 

In one instance at Salisbury he was applied to 
for a span of oxen by a young Boer who had 
settled in the country, he having lost his cattle by 
rinderpest. Jack Grimmer and I made inquiries, 
and ascertained that the man had never possessed 
any cattle ; and we strongly urged Rhodes to give 
him nothing. Rhodes, however, preferred using 
his own judgment, and the Boer went off with a 
cheque for £400. The next day there was a race 
meeting ; and during the afternoon Grimmer and 
I, to our huge delight, found the man, lying dead 
drunk under a wagon. We got Rhodes to walk 
round past the wagon, and Grimmer then pointed 
him out, saying, ** There's your £400 Dutchman." 


Rhodes didri't say a word, but hurried off and never 
mentioned the matter again. 

With their usual diplomacy, letters for assistance 
from Dutchmen nearly always contained the excuse 
that they or their friends were anxious to trek to 
Rhodesia ; others, more illiterate, were masses of 
fulsome flattery. The following are very fair 
specimens of hundreds of similar communications. 
I preserve the original spelling and punctuation, 
omitting only the names and addresses : 

. . . Transvaal. 


My Lard Mr. C. Rhodes, 
Der Sir, 

Jas a few lins to ask u far hilp as ther is 
sovel fammars in the Transvaal hu wantet to come 
up to Maussonnu Land, but dey ar a bit short of 
monney the most of them ar all my fammely and 
frinds so tha ask me to ask Mr Rhodes fo some 
monney to come up witch if i can get it there wil 
be now les then 70 to 80 fammelys hu will come at 
wance if tha con git some monney tha ask me to 
right them all a bout the country and so i did and 
now tha ar all made to come at wance affer tha 
got my letter and rood to me to try Mr Rhodes 
for monney thay wel return it a gane to Mr 
Rhodes as soune is tha got salel done so if Mr 
Rhodes con help witch monney i shall bring them 
in as fammars tha should not trowbil but tha all 
hat and harvey lost witch the catel sick nes hope 
on return 

Yours struly 

the Peple wel bevery tank foul to Mr Rhodes if u 
con hulp them so well i. My adras . . . 


Cape Colony 

The Honourable C. J. Rhodes 
Dear Sir, 
The drought and rinderpest have made a 
poor man of me. This time last year I was well 
off in cattle but now out of a big drove of cattle 
I have but five oxen left and 2 cows and as 1 
have heard that you are very generous and rich I 
thought I would ask you to help me till I can get 
on my feet again. I am an agriculturist no crop 
this season hard up. If you could lend me from 
£50 to £100 fifty to one Hundred pounds for a year 
it would set me up as I wish to trek to Matabele- 
land as soon as possible and have not oxen enough. 
Where is the best part for Agriculture. Hoping 
you will not refuse me this small favour (small to 

I remain 

Yours respectfully, 

P.S. Please send money as quickly as possible 
and oblige. 

He was constantly being asked to be godfather, 
and as a consent was almost invariably sent the 
number of his godchildren must be legion. These 
requests came not only from Britishers, but Boers 
as well, from all parts of South Africa. 

A budding author on one occasion wrote to 
Rhodes and informed him that he intended 
including him as one of the characters in a novel 
he was writing, and sent him a copy of some pages 
of dialogue, and he asked for Rhodes's approval of 
the words he put into his mouth. He added a 


postscript to the effect that it was immaterial if 
Rhodes disapproved, as he intended publishing 
the work as it was in any case. The waste- 
paper-basket could tell the rest of the tale ; but 
whether the novel ever saw the light of day I 
cannot tell. 

A young Oxford undergraduate used to write to 
him — mainly about doings at Oxford ; but Rhodes 
tired of these letters after a while, as he did of the 
letters of a girl who regularly wrote to him, though 
he read her first with interest. She never gave 
any name or address, and she simply wrote bright, 
chatty letters which she said she sent for the mere 
pleasure of doing so. 

It was only natural that Rhodes should come to 
look upon a gift of money as in all cases an 
acceptable reward for services rendered, and the 
means of recompense to be in his cheque-book. 
He never expected any one to do anything for 
nothing. One man, however, a Mr. Roos, had 
done some little extra work for him while he was 
Prime Minister, and to him Rhodes sent a cheque 
for £10. Roos, however, returned the cheque, 
saying that what he had done was not for the sake 
of money. 

Rhodes's correspondence was naturally volu- 
minous, as, in addition to his political work, even 
when out of office, he was Managing Director of 
the B.S.A. Company, Managing Director and 
Chairman of De Beers and of the Consolidated 
Gold Fields, and of the Mashonaland and Bechuana- 
land Railways and the African Trans- Continental 
Telegraph Company. Then there were the affairs 


of his various farms and all manner of private 

I don't suppose he saw one-tenth of the corre- 
spondence addressed to him. His secretary opened 
everything, no matter how " private " or ** con- 
fidential " they were marked. Letters would often 
arrive marked " Strictly private — for Mr. Rhodes 
alone," or " Not to be opened by the secretary," but 
these were all dealt with with the others. 

His correspondence was bulky, but reduced to 
surprisingly small dimensions when it reached him. 
A number of letters went straight to the waste- 
paper-basket ; others I answered straight off, and 
a few were given to him as opportunity occurred. 
Some of these he would write short replies to 
himself, and the others were either not replied to 
at all or else he would dictate answers — either by 
telegram or by letter. 

Of those letters which I thought should be 
shown to him, I used to keep a list with a precis 
of the contents, so that he could glance over it in 
a minimum of time. Often the sender of a letter 
would complain, on meeting him, that he had 
received no reply to his letter, and Rhodes would 
nonchalantly say, " Oh, I don't remember having 
seen it. My secretary probably never showed it 
to me." A reply was probably not sent for very 
good reasons, but in this way the secretary earned 
many a hard word and angry look. Sometimes he 
has sent a carefully worded telegram in my name 
and not his own when a little temporization was 
necessary ; and when matters were settled, if things 
had not gone quite smoothly, he would disclaim all 


knowledge of the telegram, and promptly blow me 
up for acting on my own responsibility. He had 
a habit, too, of hiding away letters ; but he often put 
them away so safely that he could not find them 
again. For instance, he would put a letter in a 
book in the library or in a vase in the drawing- 
room. Not long before his death he received an 
important letter from the High Commissioner, 
which he put in a jar in the library, and there was 
a great search for it after his death. 

The major portion of his important letters or 
telegrams were dealt with by wire, and he would 
dictate telegram after telegram. He was quite 
easy to follow in longhand, although he used to 
say his secretary should know shorthand. Jourdan 
and Palk were, I think, the only ones who knew 
it. As to letters, he wrote more or less as he 
spoke, and used to dash off short notes. When a 
letter was taken down word for word as he dictated 
it, it was full of tautology and redundancies, especi- 
ally if he wanted to emphasize a point. When 
dictating a letter or memorandum, he would walk 
up and down, his hands clasped behind his back or 
stuck inside his trousers, and he would wander into 
the next room, or even beyond, and one would 
have to strain one's ears to catch what he was 
saying. Personally, I never attempted to take 
down his actual words, but made notes of what he 
was saying, and then wrote the letter, or whatever 
it was. The dictation of a letter often took him 
much longer than it should take the ordinary man, 
as it was all repetition. Having got the main 
points, I used to sit and pretend to take notes, just 


saying, " Yes, sir," when he asked " Have you got 
that ? " After dictating a long jumble, in which 
he repeated himself over and over again, he would 
say, " Now read that." I would reply that I 
would write it out first, and I must say that he 
very seldom made any correction. If he did, it was 
merely to add a postscript in which he repeated 
half of what he had already said, and sometimes 
made the postscript longer than the letter itself. 

On one occasion, in 1901, he dictated a letter to 
me while he was still in bed, and then said, " Now 
read that." I had only taken a few notes, and 
smiHngly said, " I must go and put it into decent 
English first." He just gave his little whine and 
rolled over in bed. I brought him the letter later 
on, and he said, " I think that will do. That will 
do very well." I heard him speak of it a day or 
two after, and he said, " Le Sueur says I can't 
write Enghsh." 

All his private letters were written by hand and 
many official ones. He never had a typewriter in 
his house. The bulk of his official correspondence 
was done in the offices of the Chartered Company 
and De Beers, and for this typewriters were used. 

When on the veld, we were often away from post- 
offices for weeks at a time, and then a mail would 
turn up — a muid ^ sack crammed with letters ; or on 
reaching a telegraph- station a mass of telegrams, 
some of them pages in length, would be handed 
to me. I have known him receive a big batch of 
telegrams, and, after reading them over two or 
three times, retire to his wagonette, or wherever 

* Wheat measure. Three bushels go to the muid. 

1898] POWERS OF MEMQRY: fi'Ol; 

he was sleeping, and early in the morning start 
dictating replies, and, without looking at the wires 
again, answer every point in every one of them, 
without missing one. 

He had a wonderful memory — especially for 
figures. For instance, he would receive a state- 
ment of his holdings from Messrs. Wernher, Beit 
& Co., and run through a list of a hundred or so 
stocks, then correct it. " No, this is wrong," he'd 
say ; " I have only 3,090 of these, not 3,390— So- 
and-so had 300," and so on with every stock on 
the list. 



The first step towards the acquisition of the north 
may be called the formation of the Rudd-Rhodes 
Syndicate, as it was known. Alfred Beit was a 
member of it, and Messrs. Rudd, Rochfort Maguire, 
and F. R. ("Matabele") Thompson were appointed 
delegates to obtain a concession from Lo Bengula, 
son of " Umziligazi," ^ king of the Matabele. 
Umziligazi was a pure Zulu, and was driven out 
of Zululand by Tshaka, the uncle of Cetywayo, 
who was the father of Dinizulu. He made his 
way with his impis (regiments) through the Marico 
District of the Transvaal, having several encounters 
with the Boers, to Bechuanaland, where he soundly 
hammered Khama, beloved of missionaries and 
tea-drinking old ladies and so on, to what is now 
Bulawayo. ^ From here he started raiding east 
and west and south and north — south and west 
as far as Palapye (Khama's Town), south and east 
as far as Gazaland (Gungunhana), Manicaland 
and Umtali (M'tasa's), and north as far as the 

* Called by the Boers Moselikatze, and meaning "the Trail of 

* Gubulawayo — "the Place of Slaughter." 



A large impi was sent to the Zambesi River and 
Victoria Falls under Babyan, an induna (chief), 
who was an envoy to the late Queen Victoria and 
a great favourite of Rhodes's. The impi reached 
the river, and the local tribes offered to ferry them 
across. Some they conveyed to the opposite 
shore, but the majority were landed on the islands, 
the canoes returning for others. When the larger 
portion of the impi had been left on the islands, 
the canoes drew off, the Matabele being abandoned 
to their fate. Numbers were drowned, died of 
starvation, or were devoured by crocodiles, and only 
a small remnant returned to Bulawayo. Those 
who reached the northern bank of the river founded 
the Angoni nation, who still exhibit some traces 
of their warlike descent. 

The women and girls captured in the Matabele 
raids were taken as wives by the Matabele warriors, 
but for many years Lo Bengula was very strict 
as to intermarriage. For instance, the Kumalo 
(Umziligazi's patronymic) were of royal blood, and 
could only marry in the Kumalo class or with the 
king's consent. 

Then the Abenthla, or descendants of the true 
Zulus and Swazis, could only marry in their own 
class ; and after these came the Amaholi, or slaves, 
who were also divided into three classes. Umzili- 
gazi was succeeded by his son, Lo Bengula, and 
the territory under his sway was enormous. He 
ruled his people with an iron hand, and his name 
was feared from the Limpopo to the Zambesi. 
Whilst he dealt out death with an unsparing 
hand, only one white man is known to have been 

104 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

killed by his orders, although there was quite a 
number at various times at Bulawayo — such as 
Colenbrander, Sam Edwards, Selous, Fairbairn, 
and Dawson. 

Lo Bengula was once asked why he punished 
every offence with death, and he replied, " What 
else am I to do ? They understand death, and I 
can't lock them up as you white people do in 
gaols. 1 have no gaols, nor the trouble of looking 
after them." 

The Matabele nation settled in the territory 
now known as Matabeleland, which had its 
boundary at the Shangani River, and was governed 
by Lo Bengula through indunas, who had districts 
placed under their jurisdiction. 

Mashonaland was under tribute to Lo Bengula, 
but the inhabitants were not members of the 
Matabele nation, and the territory was really only 
a happy hunting-ground for Matabele raiders. 

There was no one ruler in Mashonaland, but a 
number of tribes, each under a small chief. Tribes 
are found a few miles apart, having distinct customs, 
manners, and language. 

Months were spent at Bulawayo by Rudd, 
Maguire, and " Matabele " Thompson " bongaing " 
to Lo Bengula, from whom they finally obtained 
a concession for the mineral rights over the whole 
of his dominions, with the exception of the Tati 
Concession — a tract south of Bulawayo, dividing 
the territories of Lo Bengula and Khama. 

The young Matabele warriors got rather im- 
patient of the prolonged stay of the concession- 
hunters, and " Matabele " Thompson, on his return 


journey, had to fly for his Ufe, and nearly perished 
of thirst. 

In November 1888 the British South Africa 
Company was incorporated by Royal Charter, 
and preparations were made for an expedition of 
occupation. In May 1890 the Mashonaland expe- 
dition started under the guidance of F. C. Selous, 
and effected a peaceful occupation of Mashona- 
land, and erected their fort on the kopje over- 
looking the present town of Salisbury. The 
township of Victoria was established near the 
Zimbabye ruins, and for a time was the most 
important centre. 

Other concessions, such as those granted by Lo 
Bengula to A. E. Maund, Renny-Tailyour, and 
Edward Lippert were purchased for what they 
were worth. The most important of these was 
perhaps the concession granted in November 1891 
to Lippert, which conferred on the concessionaire 
for the term of one hundred years the sole and 
exclusive right of laying out, granting, or leasing 
farms, townships, building-plots, etc. ; in fact, 
surface rights generally. 

The document conveys no right of transfer, but 
the concession was purchased by the British South 
Africa Company. 

While the company was purchasing every 
northern concession which seemed to have the 
shadow of genuineness, a concession in Gazaland 
was offered to Rhodes for £20,000. 

He offered £10,000 in cash for it, but the owner 
refused this, and Rhodes gave him a week in 
which to make up his mind. The concessionaire 

106 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

then went off, and hawked the concession, but 
met with no buyers. 

He then, after the lapse of a fortnight, returned 
to Rhodes, and said he was prepared to accept 
£15,000 for his concession. 

" What concession ? " asked Rhodes. 

"The one you offered me £10,000 for," he 

" I know of no offer," answered Rhodes. 

" Why," the concessionaire said, " you gave me 
until a week ago to decide." 

" Ah, yes," Rhodes replied, " but that was a 
week ago. Now I am not a buyer." 

"Well, you may have it for £5,000," went on 
the disappointed man. 

" No, no," Rhodes said, " I don't want it. Good 

A concession was also obtained from M'tasa, 
the most important chief in Manicaland, who had 
his kraal on a big mountain near where Umtali 
now stands. 

Half a mile from the mountain it is impossible 
to see a hut, so hidden are they amongst the rocks, 
yet M'tasa a few years ago paid hut-tax on over 
four hundred huts. 

The whole of Manicaland was claimed by the 
Portuguese, and in 1890 Forbes, with a few pohce 
on a visit to M'tasa's kraal, found there a Portu- 
guese force under Baron de Rezende, the com- 
mandant at Ma^equece. Accompanying him 
were a Portuguese, d'Andrade, and a Goanese, 

Forbes arrested the trio, Baron de Rezende 


being sent back to Ma^equece and the two others 
to Cape Town. 

A commission was later on appointed to de- 
limit the boundary, and under its award the 
border was fixed at Umtali, all the low country- 
falling to the Portuguese, and the highlands, in- 
cluding M'tasa, being included in the territory of 
the British South Africa Company. 

A great deal has been written and said about 
an intrigue between Kruger and Germany in con- 
nection with northern expansion, and it has been 
stated that when the concession was obtained from 
Lo Bengula envoys sent by Kruger and Leyds 
were actually on their way up to Bulawayo ; but 
Kruger always gave this an emphatic denial, his 
words being, " Ik vertrouw de Engelsche min 
maar ik vertrouw de Deutzers tien maal minder" 
(" I trust the English but little, but I trust the 
Germans ten times less "). Lo Bengula had, how- 
ever, been visited by an envoy from Kruger, and 
a German also started for Bulawayo, but never 
reached the kraal. 

The expedition, having reached Salisbury, now 
metaphorically beat their swords into, not plough- 
shares, but picks and shovels for prospecting, as 
the discovery of gold was the first object of all. 
The land was, however, apportioned out in farms, 
and after the column came a number with the 
intention of settling down. Of such was Laurence 
van der Byl, who brought up about eighteen 
young South Africans, and settled on Laurence- 
dale, between Salisbury and UmtaU. His grave 
now marks the spot, and although the land is 

108 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

being farmed I do not think that any of his party- 
remain in Rhodesia. 

In 1891 the late Lord Randolph Churchill made 
a tour of the country, and wrote some glowing 
articles on its possibilities. 

With Rhodes, on his first visit to the country 
that now bears his name, were two Dutch farmers, 
members of the Bond and of the House of 
Assembly of the Cape — Messrs. De Waal and 
Venter. De Waal afterwards " ratted " from the 
Bond and followed Rhodes. He stuck closely to 
Rhodes, but when the latter was dying, and De 
Waal was unable to see him because he was too ill, 
he was very much annoyed, and said to me that 
Rhodes had promised him a number of Charter 
shares which he never got, and added that had 
he known " the way in which he was going to be 
treated he would better have known how to act." 
I think he exemplified what Rhodes meant when 
he referred to my countrymen " and the eye to 
the main chance." It was on his trip with De 
Waal that Rhodes shot the only thing in the way 
of big game he ever did, i.e, a quagga (zebra), and 
he afterwards said he hated himself for having 
shot it, and would never shoot another. He used 
to tell a story, too, which De Waal repeats in his 
book, of having early one morning walked in his 
pyjamas a short distance into the veld, and a lion 
suddenly roaring close beside him. He immediately 
fled for his life, and came panting up to the wagon 
with his pyjama trousers down and trailing round 
his feet ! 

Dr. Jameson was selected by Rhodes to ad- 

1 893] FERREIRA'S RAID 109 

minister the New Country ; and he could not have 
chosen better, for the situation required quaUties 
which "the Doctor," as he was affectionately 
called, possessed in a high degree — tact, perse- 
verance, confidence, and indomitable courage. 
Immediately the pioneers had entered the country 
a raid was made upon it by the Boers, under one 
Colonel Ferreira, and Jameson set off to meet him 
at Rhodes's Drift, on the Limpopo. Ferreira tried 
bluster at first, but came to reason when a maxim 
was turned on the river, and its effects could be 
marked. The Boers were, however, invited to 
come in under shelter of the Chartered Company, 
and allowed to settle at and around Enkeldoorn, 
where they bid fair to establish a useful com- 

The Matabele War of 1893 

The occupation of Mashonaland by the pioneers 
did not have much effect on the Matabele warriors 
as a show of force, and I think they rather looked 
on the new occupiers of the territory as under 
tribute, as the Mashonas were. At all events, 
they continued their marauding expeditions, and 
finally waxed so bold as to slaughter a number 
of Mashonas who were working for the white 
settlers. A strong remonstrance was sent to Lo 
Bengula by Dr. Jameson in 1893, when the position 
had become intolerable. He returned the usual 
reply of not being able to keep his young bloods 
in hand, and it was finally resolved to march 
on Bulawayo. After having communicated with 

110 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

Rhodes, and the famous messages ^ regarding the 
reference to Luke xiv. 31 having passed, Jameson 
set off with some 500 men, hotchkiss-guns, and 
maxims for Bulawayo, following the watershed. 
When one compares the result of the German 
operations in South- West Africa, where thousands 
of trained soldiers were unable to deal with a 
comparative handful of degenerate Hottentots, it 
strikes one as little short of miraculous that this 
little band of amateurs was not entirely extermi- 
nated on their advance against a nation of 20,000 
warriors, to whom war and bloodshed were as the 
breath of their nostrils. 

Certainly great fears were entertained for them 
until they had reached the open country beyond 
the Somabula forest near Shangani, and it is a 
mystery how the Matabele failed to rush them with 
the assegai ^ while they were passing through the 
thick forest, where their weapons of precision would 
have given them little or no advantage. They 
came of the same race by whom the 24th regiment 
was cut up at Isandhlwana in 1879. 

Major Forbes was in command of the troops, who 
had several engagements, the most severe being at 
Bembezi, about twenty miles from Bulawayo, 
where two whites, Arthur Gary and Siebert, were 
killed and who were buried at the spot by Bishop 

* On hearing from Jameson, Rhodes wired, " Read Luke xiv. 31 " 
C Or what king, going to war against another king, sitteth not down 
first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him 
that Cometh against him with twenty thousand ? "). Jameson's reply 
was, '' All right : have read Luke xiv. 31." 

' Assegai — spear, used by the Zulus and Matabele for stabbing at 
close quarters— by other tribes for throwing. They can throw them 
about 150 yards. 

1893] WILSON'S DEATH 111 

Knight- Bruce. Dr. Jameson pushed on ahead to 
Bulawayo, which he and his body-servant, GarUck, 
were the first to reach. They found the town in 
flames. Shortly afterwards they were joined by 
Rhodes, who had followed the column. Rhodes 
used to tell a story of his journey up, and said he 
had met some Indians who were on their way down 
country. He asked if they were not going to 
settle in the country. They replied, ** Oh, yes ; 
but the white men are at war with the natives 
now ; but in the end the whites are sure to win, 
and then, when it is all over, we are coming back." 
Lo Bengula had fled towards the north, and 
Forbes and his column set off in pursuit. Lo 
Bengula now wished to parley, and sent back a 
conciliatory present of £2,000 ; but this was 
received by two scouts, Wilson and Daniels, who 
stole and hid the amount. Getting no reply, the 
harassed king continued his flight. He crossed the 
Shangani some sixty miles north of Bulawayo, and 
Major Alan Wilson, with thirty-two men, crossed 
in hot pursuit of him. One of the natives who 
was with Lo Bengula afterwards told me that Lo 
Bengula at this time was very ill, and consumed 
quantities of muti (medicine). The Shangani now 
came down in flood, and Wilson and his party 
were cut off* from the main body. They were then 
attacked by the crack Imbezu and Ingubu regi- 
ments, under Lo Bengula's chief fighting induna, 
M'tyana, a true-blooded Zulu who had come from 
Zululand with Umziligazi, and there the grim 
tragedy was enacted which brought undying 
honour to the names of Alan Wilson and those 


who died with him. Sir Thomas Fuller says they 
died rather than desert wounded comrades. This 
was not so. They were cut off by the swollen 
Shangani River, and surrounded by thousands of 
some of the finest native fighters in Africa, and 
for them there was no escape, even had they wished 
it. Their firing was plainly heard by Forbes's 
column, but he could render them no assistance, 
as, in addition to the river being impassable, he was 
himself fiercely attacked. He was so hard pressed 
that his men were reduced to eating their horses, 
and he at length had to retire, leaving his maxims, 
but carrying away the breech-blocks. His column 
came straggling in to where Gwelo now stands for 
two days. The natives who are likely to know do 
not care to speak of Wilson's last stand ; one rather 
likes to think they were ashamed of the exploit. 
But M'tyana, who was in command, told me himself 
that when they charged them with their stabbing 
assegais after the firing had ceased — their ammuni- 
tion being exhausted — seven were left standing, 
and that these sang ; but of course what the words 
of that last song were can only be left to conjecture. 
The bones of Wilson's party were afterwards 
collected, and first buried at Zimbabye, and later 
removed to the hill where lie Rhodes's remains. 
Lo Bengula was said to have died, but his grave 
has never been found, even M'tyana professing 
ignorance of it. It is customary to bury native 
chiefs where only a few of the chief headmen 
would know the grave, and to bury them with 
weapons, wagons, and oxen, etc., unless a chief 
died in his kraal, when he is usually buried at the 


doorway of his hut and the kraal is deserted, as 
old Bulawayo was when Umziligazi died. M'tyana 
was a fine specimen of a native, and lived near 
Rhodes's Matoppo Farm. He took no part in the 
Rebellion of 1896. Some of these old Matabele, 
especially members of Lo Bengula's family, were 
quite courteous and had nice manners — probably 
inherited from their Zulu ancestors. On visiting 
M'tyana on one occasion, one of his wives brought 
me a calabash of native beer to where I was sitting 
with him. I put out my hands to take it, but 
the old man, smiling and shaking his head, took it 
from me and drank a mouthful or two from it, and 
then handed it to me, in accordance with old native 

With the fall of Bulawayo the power of the 
Matabele was looked upon as broken, and another 
great tract of territory was added to the Chartered 
Company's holdings. A force of police was en- 
rolled and the land cut up into farms, which were, 
however, only half the size of the Mashonaland 
farms — 1,500 instead of 3,000 morgen^ — and an 
ever-increasing tide of immigration set in. 

Living in Lo Bengula's kraal in 1893 were a 
Cape boy, John Jacobs, who was the king's 
private secretary, and a fugitive from Tongoland 
named Umvulaan, who could read and write 
English and Dutch, and who came up to Bula- 
wayo with Babyan and Umshete (Lo Bengula's 
envoys to Queen Victoria) when they returned 
from England. John Jacobs disappeared in 1893, 
but Umvulaan, who, to the amusement of the 
high-class Matabele, called himself Karl Kumalo, 

' Morgen — a little over two acres. 

114 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

was sentenced to death in 1896, and, being taken 
out for execution, three men were told off to 
shoot him. One bullet passed through his thumb, 
another through his side, and the third took him 
in the forehead, but, as a high-velocity bullet will 
do, it travelled round the skull beneath the scalp 
and continued its flight ; and when a party went 
out to bury him next day it was found that he 
had crawled away. This is the native referred 
to by Olive Schreiner in her book " Peter Halkett 
of Mashonaland." Umvulaan reappeared after the 
Rebellion of 1896, but at the beginning of the 
Boer War I saw him at Fort Usher in the Matoppos, 
where he was under arrest for sedition and trying 
to stir up the natives. What has since become 
of him I don't know, but he often made tender 
enquiries after the members of the firing party 
who operated on him. As to '' Peter Halkett," 
Rhodes always put the production of that down 
to spite. Its history, as he used to tell it, was that, 
whilst on a voyage to England, Olive Cronwright- 
Schreiner (or Mrs. Cronwright, her maiden name 
of Schreiner having been adopted by her husband, 
Cronwright) was on board, and was talking to a 
friend in Rhodes's hearing, when the friend re- 
marked, " Why don't you write another book, 
Miss Schreiner ? It is quite a time since your 
' Story of an African Farm ' appeared." " Oh, I 
don't know," replied Olive Schreiner ; " I don't 
think I could write another." Rhodes immediately 
said, " You're quite right. Miss Schreiner. You 
couldnt write another book. You've put all your 
thoughts and ideas into your book, and now 


you haven't got it in you to write another one." 
Miss Schreiner was much annoyed, and not long 
afterwards appeared " Trooper Peter Halkett of 

Rhodesia, as Matabeleland and Mashonaland 
were now called, was in 1895 in a fair way to a 
peaceful settlement, farms were being occupied, 
homesteads erected, and mining properties opened 
up. But events occurred in the south which con- 
siderably threw back the development of the 
country. The Johannesburg revolution was in the 
air, and Dr. Jameson had gone down to Pitsani 
Pothlugo (near Mafeking) with guns intended for 
the defence of Bulawayo, and he was accompanied 
by most of the police. The published object of 
his departure was to take over the Bechuanaland 
Border Police from the Cape Colony to the service 
of the Chartered Company ; but, as is known, at 
Christmas 1895 he led the combined force to the 
protection of life and property in Johannesburg. 
After his surrender to the Boers the country was 
in a very unprotected state, the police having been 
withdrawn, and the Matabele, who had never been 
really beaten, seized an unique opportunity to rise in 
rebellion. They had heard that " U'dogetele " (the 
Doctor) was a prisoner in the hands of the Boers, 
and they were enraged at the wholesale slaughter 
of their cattle, which were shot to check the ravages 
of rinderpest. 

Besides such small superstitions as that the 
rainfall had diminished, and that the red locusts 
{aviakiwa) had only appeared since the advent 
of the white man, while the outbreak of rinderpest 

116 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

coincided with his arrival as well, they alleged 
many real grievances, such as extortion by the 
newly enlisted native police, whom they also 
accused of taking their women without lobola} 
This they highly resented, as the native police 
were indiscriminately recruited, and the high-bred 
Matabele would not tolerate their own amaholi 
(slaves) being placed in authority over them, much 
less give their daughters to them. They were, 
furthermore, cast into a state of frenzy by one 
whom they called the " Mlimo " — a mysterious 
person who was supposed to inhabit a cave in 
the Matoppos, and who prophesied that the white 
man's bullets would be turned to water and the 
whites driven into the sea. A few of the indunas 
remained friendly, mainly the older ones, like 
M'tyana and Faku ; these both lived on or near 
Rhodes's Matoppo farms, as did some of the worst 
rebels, like Bozingwan, the witch-doctor, Soma- 
bulana, Dhliso, and Umlugulu. (Rhodes said he 
liked having them near, so that he could keep his 
eye on them.) Babyan, Rhodes's old friend, also 
lived on the farm, and he took an active part until 
one night he ill-advisedly attacked Faku, and was 
severely trounced. He then retired in high dudgeon 
to his fastness, which he called Kantole, a corruption 
of Dutch " kantoor " — meaning office. 

Some of the friendlies turned out, and were led by 
an undersized stripling named Betyana, who had a 
most repulsive appearance, having lost an eye, and 
who was at the same time suffering from an in- 
curable disease. He seemed, however, to have great 

* Lobola — the price in cattle paid for a wife to her father. 

1896] THE MLIMO 117 

influence with the natives. As to the identity of 
the MHmo (all that survives of him now is his 
name given as a nickname to Arthur Montagu 
Rhodes), I remember a great picture that appeared 
in one of the illustrated papers, depicting the 
Scouts Burnham and Armstrong dashing for their 
lives before the Matabele, and mounted upon such 
horses as Rhodesia has never seen, after having 
slain the Mlimo ; but the identity of the prophet 
was never established. 

After the cessation of hostilities, however, Faku, 
the friendly induna, came to Rhodes and demanded 
compensation for the death of one of his slaves, 
an old holi, who, he said, had been shot by 
Burnham and Armstrong while he was hoeing in a 
mealie patch. 

The Rebellion commenced with a wholesale 
massacre of men, women, and children at outlying 
farms and in prospecting camps, and in most cases 
the bodies were horribly mutilated ; women's hair 
was torn out by the roots, and the bodies of little 
babies were found which had been pounded up in 
mealie-stampers in the sight of their mothers. Is 
it a wonder, therefore, that some of the men who 
had lost brothers, wives, children, when, during the 
subsequent fighting, they saw these results of the 
natives' handiwork, " saw red " and took reprisals, 
in some cases throwing aside their rifles and 
killing the niggers with their hands ? 

1896 was indeed a disastrous year for Rhodes. 
The close of 1895 saw him at the zenith of his 
power, and the opening of 1896 saw him a broken 
man. Rinderpest cleared Rhodesia of cattle and 

118 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

swept away vast herds of buffalo and other game, 
and the curses of the country were then summed 
up in the three R's — " Rinderpest, Raid, and Re- 

Rhodes had been called upon to resign the 
chairmanship of the Chartered Company, and he 
did so, but this made very little material difference, 
as he held and retained the Company's general 
power of attorney. He was always more or less 
of an autocrat in Rhodesia, and did not hesitate 
to grant concessions or exemptions if a man made 
out a good case. His example has been emulated 
by the directors of the B.S.A. Company in the 
way of making special grants of land and in the 
giving of special title to farms which under the 
mining regulations are withheld from the ordinary 

Rhodes took a more or less active part in the 
Rebellion, and was at times in great personal 
danger and the cause of much anxiety to his 
friends. He did not, however, carry arms. When 
he was entering the country, two columns were 
sent to escort him, and friction arose between the 
officers in command as to seniority, as both held 
the rank of colonel. Rhodes, on ascertaining the 
cause of the dispute, said, " I'll be the leader, I'll 
be colonel, and so that's settled." A cable im- 
mediately came out from Home — " Hear you have 
appointed yourself colonel — wire explanation." I 
don't know what reply, if any, was sent, but a 
medal for the campaign was issued to him as 
" Colonel the Right Honourable C. J. Rhodes," 
and it is now at Groote Schuur. 


The towns went into laager and troops were 
enrolled. There was also a body of Cape boys 
who did yeoman service in the kopjes. There 
were only one or two square fights, the natives 
soon retiring from open country to the Matoppos, 
whence it was impossible to dislodge them. Regular 
Imperial troops were also employed, and were of 
the utmost service. The extra cost of their 
employment was, moreover, borne by the Chartered 
Company and not by Her Majesty's Government. 
Of the Imperial officers, one in four was wounded 
during the operations in Mashonaland, which makes 
one realize that the military operations were a 
stern experience to the troops engaged — while 
nearly five hundred men out of the Rhodesian 
community were lost in murdered, in killed, or 
from wounds and exposure, and this amounted to 
practically a decimation of the white population in 
Rhodesia at that time. 

At N'taba zi ka Mambo, Rhodes and a small 
body of troops were almost cut off, and Rhodes 
was nearly hit, a bullet striking the ground under 
his horse. " D'you know," he said afterwards, 
" it was a very near thing. I might have been 
hit in the stomach, which w^ould have been very 
unpleasant, and I should have been very angry." 
He also added afterwards, "I was never in such 
a funk in my life." 

A story was told me that it was at the same 
place that supplies of liquor, tobacco, etc., ran 
very short, and Jewish traders used to drive up 
in all sorts of vehicles with assorted articles, and 
their stocks were very soon sold out. One day a 


wagonette drove up, and a number of thirsty 
and tobaccoless troopers ran up at the sight of a 
Jewish type of countenance peering out. 

" Got any beer ? " cried one. 

" No," was the reply. 

" Any stout, whisky, dop ? " 

"No, no." 

"Any cigarettes or tobacco ? " 

" No," again. 

" Then what the hell have you got ? and what 
do you want here, anyway?" one disappointed 
trooper shouted. 

Then somebody recognized Rhodes. 

All the troops engaged in suppressing the 
rebellion were placed under the command of 
General Sir Frederick Carrington, while Sir 
Richard Martin had been sent out in May as 
Resident Commissioner to report to the Imperial 
Government. The Matabele had taken to the 
fastnesses of the Matoppos, from which they 
refused to budge, and Sir Frederick Carrington 
had camped near Rhodes's farms and had established 
a chain of forts along the Matoppos, and sorties 
into the hills were made — without, however, 
effecting very much. Rhodes then determined to 
see whether " conciliation " might not avail where 
there seemed little probability of force succeeding, 
and he made his camp some distance from the 
main body. Earl and Countess Grey were there 
with Mr. and Mrs. Colenbrander, Dr. Hans Sauer, 
J. G. McDonald, Grimmer, Jourdan, Vere Stent 
the journalist, and a few friends. Rhodes managed 
to establish communication with the rebels, cul- 


minating in his historic indaba with them, when, 
accompanied by Colenbrander, Dr. Hans Sauer, 
and Vere Stent, he rode into the hills, and, having 
met the indunas, he persuaded them of their folly. 
He had the most extraordinary influence over 
natives, and no native could look him in the face. 
It is certain that a large number of them looked 
on him as mad, and therefore he would be per- 
fectly safe from personal violence from them. 
Before he succeeded in obtaining the submission 
of the Matabele he had to spend many weary 
weeks in his camp at the foot of the Matoppos. 
The chief negotiator between Rhodes and the 
rebels was one of Umziligazi's wives (not, however, 
the mother of Lo Bengula), and the old lady's 
photograph used to hang in Rhodes's bedroom at 
Groote Schuur. 

It was while he was waiting for the Matabele 
to surrender that he selected the site for his grave. 
He and Sir Frederick Carrington, Lady Grey, and 
J. G. McDonald used to take long rides into the 
Matoppos. One day they rode further than usual, 
and climbed the hill known as Malindi N'zema, 
or "The Worship of the Departed Spirit." He 
was very much impressed with the wild grandeur 
of the Matoppos, as who is not who has gazed on 
that endless sea of rugged granite boulders ? The 
hill is not very far from where Umziligazi is 
buried. The founder of the Matabele nation is 
interred in a cave on the top of a kopje, and round 
the cave his wagons, etc., were buried. The body 
was placed in a sitting posture, as is customary 
with the natives, at the back of the cave, and the 

122 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

front, where three large rocks made a natural arch- 
way, was walled up with stones. During the 
Rebellion the grave was torn open, and some of 
the bones of the dead king and his assegais, 
etc., were carried off as mementoes. Rhodes 
had a search made for these, and had them re- 
placed in the grave, which was walled up once 

" I admire," said he one day, when on the hill 
where his remains now rest, ''the imagination of 
Umzilagazi. There he lies, a conqueror alone, 
watching over the land that he had won. When 
I die, I mean to be buried here, and I shall have the 
bones of those brave men who helped me take the 
country brought from Zimbabye." 

He instructed J. G. McDonald to see that this 
was done, and added anxiously, " You don't think 
that they will object," referring to the relatives 
of the deceased heroes of Shangani, whose bones 
have, in accordance with Rhodes's wish, since been 
moved from Zimbabye to a spot on the hill where 
he lies. Rhodes often referred to Umziligazi 
sitting alone, as it were, watching over his people. 
" The World's View " he called the view from the 
hill ; and it certainly is very fine and wild, although 
I have seen many grander. On the first occasion 
when he took me up to the hill he told me to shut 
niy eyes as we approached the summit, and he led 
me up, and then said, " Now look : what do you 
think of it ? " I did not know then that I was 
expected to be wildly enthusiastic, and as I was 
disappointed in it I said, '* Oh, 1 don't know — it's 
rather fine." He immediately flew into a rage and 


said, '^ I suppose if Jesus Christ were to ask you 
what you thought of Heaven, you'd say, ' Oh, I 
don't know, it isn't bad.' " " Every one will come 
and see that view," he said once to Brailsford ; " but 
if you had a view no one would take the trouble 
to go and look at it." 

The negotiations for peace were long and 
tedious, and besides a little shooting Rhodes's 
only recreations were reading and taking long 
rides. The rebels were safely ensconced and 
refused to come out, but their supply of grain 
was running short, and many were dying of fever 
in the unhealthy granite. Rhodes amused himself 
in talking to the friendly natives and to others 
who had surrendered. He spoke a smattering of 
Zulu and kitchen Kafir picked up in Natal and 
Kimberley, and he generally contrived to make 
himself understood. One of the first to surrender 
was Babyan, a true Zulu, then eighty-two years 
of age. He and one Umshete were sent by Lo 
Bengula as envoys to Queen Victoria in 1889, and 
he had a great fund of tales with which he used 
to amuse **the Old Man." He disliked being 
chaffed about his visit to London, although he ran 
about as naked as the day he was born, excepting 
for a kilt of wild-cat's tails. One day Colonel 
Napier jocularly remarked, " Well, Babyan, how's 
the Queen ? " " Ow," retorted Babyan, " we 
won't say anything about that ; but, you know, if 
you went to England, you couldn't go and talk 
to the Queen like I can ; you might see her in her 
carriage far off, but if you went to shake hands 
with her they would drive you away." He knew 

1«4 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

only two phrases of English — " Yes, sir " and " Good 
night " — but he would repeat them on every possible 
occasion. He was very fond of offering to shake 
hands with strangers, until he tried it on a young 
South African in the streets of Bulawayo. Your 
South African doesn't like that sort of thing, and 
this one picked up a stone the size of half a 
brick and banged Babyan over the head with it. 
Babyan raced off in a great rage to report to 
Rhodes, but he got little sympathy. When 
Babyan left England, Her Majesty gave him a 
gold bracelet with " Babyan from the Queen " on 
it. This he sold to a trader in Tati, from whom 
Rhodes bought it. When taxed by Rhodes with 
having sold the Queen's gift, he unhesitatingly 
replied, " How could T, a mere dog, presume to 
keep anything that belonged to the Great White 
Queen ? " 

Some time afterwards, while I was at Fort 
Usher in the Matoppos, a large number of natives, 
led by Babyan, came in and asked that a certain 
missionary who had just come into the country 
might be hanged. He was asked why, and replied 
that the missionary had described a great 'n Koos 
pezulu^ who was supreme over the earth, and 
had asked them if they knew what he meant. 
One immediately replied, " U'Lawli " (Lawley, the 
Administrator). He was told he was wrong. 
" Umlamula M'kunzi " (Rhodes), said another ; 
but again the missionary said, " No ; some one 
greater than Rhodes." Then Babyan, with an 
air of confidence, said, " i' Queeni " (the Queen). 

' Chief up above. 

1896] BABY AN THE WIL\ 125 

" No," said the missionary ; " some one even greater 
than the Queen." " IP Yamanga " (you Uar), cried 
Babyan, and the natives rose and left in a body 
to have the missionary hanged for daring to say 
that there was any one greater than the Great 
White Queen. 

Babyan told us the story of his dining at 
Windsor, and related how, when they sat down, 
there was a great number of knives and forks, and 
he wondered what they were going to do with 
them all. " Never mind," he said to himself, 
" there is plenty of time ; I'll watch and see what 
the others do." He did, and came through the 
ordeal with credit. " Then," said he, " a beautiful 
lady came with flowers, and gave me one to put 
in my coat. Then I saw another lady, who also 
had roses, and I liked her better, and I wanted to 
throw my flower away, but I was afraid I would 
be seen and there would be trouble, so I showed 
her the other side of the coat and said, " Here, 
put one in here too. I wanted her for a wife, 
and thought over it for a long time ; but then I 
remembered the train only went as far as Mafeking, 
and she would have to walk to Bulawayo, and she 
didn't look as if she could walk very well. Then 
she would want to eat rice and sugar and be very 
expensive, so I thought I'd better not say anything 
about it." 

Babyan was a diplomat. When he and his 
fellow envoy were approaching Bulawayo on their 
return from England, he said to his companion, 
" M'Shete, what are you going to tell Lo 
Bengula ? " 

126 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

" Oh," replied M'Shete, " I'll tell him all we 


" About the soldiers too ? " asked Babyan. 

" Yes," said M'Shete. 

" M'Shete," Babyan warned him, " you are a 
fool, and you will lose your head. / am going 
to take off these clothes and return as I left, and 
I shall tell Lo Bengula to have no fear of the 
Queen's armies, as his warriors would eat them up." 
" And," added Babyan, when he told us the tale, " I 
was right. Here I am to-day, alive and well, and 
M'Shete— his head is ofF." 

Babyan asked Rhodes to allow him to stay in 
his camp after he surrendered. There was some 
method in this, as he well knew if he went back 
to the Matoppos he would be killed. Rhodes 
suggested that he should rather endeavour to 
persuade the other rebels to surrender. " No," 
said Babyan, "it is better this way : when they 
see me sitting here and getting fatter and fatter 
every day they will say, * Look at Babyan — he 
fought as long as he thought there was a hope, and 
then he surrendered ; and now he gets fatter every 
day. Let us go and do the same.' " 

" Yes," replied Rhodes, " but I'm afraid your 
stomach has more to do with it than a desire for 
peace, Babyan ; but after all the stomach has had 
a great deal to do with the destiny of nations." 

After the chiefs had surrendered, Rhodes 
addressed them and said, " Now everything is over 
and you are going to have peace, and you have to 
thank " Johan " (Colenbrander) for it all." 

" No, no," they replied, " Johan is only the tick- 


bird ^ — you are the rhinoceros." (This will appeal 
to any one who knows the native.) 

Rhodes was always fond of talking to natives, 
and petted them a great deal. On his birthday, 
July 5, 1897, he had a great gathering of natives 
on his farms, and some 4,000 executed a war-dance. 
He sent in to Bulawayo, about eighteen miles oflp, 
and got out bales of blankets and cloth, not to 
speak of hundreds of sovereigns and half-sovereigns 
as presents for them, and providing oxen and sheep 
for them to slaughter and feast on. Natives to 
him were merely adult children — he truly enjoyed 
sitting and chaffing them in a smattering of different 
dialects he had picked up. 

After the peace negotiations were concluded, 
the Matabele named Rhodes "Umlamula M'kunzi," 
meaning in abbreviation, " The Man who Separated 
the Fighting Bulls," the bulls being, of course, the 
whites and themselves. They used to add to his 
name, in shouting greeting to him, " but you should 
have let them fight it out." Immediately things 
were settled, Rhodes made preparations for de- 
parture for Salisbury, a fact which caused Lady 
Grey to say to him one day, " I wonder at you, 
Mr. Rhodes, with your energy, patiently waiting 
here when there are so many things you want 
to do." 

"Well, I should like," replied Rhodes, "to be 
like Cincinnatus, who gave up a throne and went 
and grew cabbages. Such a peaceful life — such 

^ Tick-bird — this bird follows the rhinoceros about, and, perching 
on him, forages for ticks. They also settle on cattle, and often peck 
holes in the hide, causing ulcers. 


a peaceful life. And," he added, " I'd grow very 
good cabbages, too, mark you." 

In August 1896 Rhodes set off for Salisbury 
and Beira on his way to England to attend the 
Commission of Inquiry on the Raid. On arriving 
at Enkeldoorn (the Dutch settlement), he found 
the burghers had been in laager for some months, 
drawing 7^. 6d. per day each, and that only a few 
miles off was the kraal of the native chief, who 
kept them in awe, and had refused to surrender. 
He immediately said, '* We'll go out and attack 
the kraal," and at midnight the column (or 
commando) started and chmbed the kopje on 
which the kraal was, Rhodes puffing along in his 
white flannel trousers with the best of them, a 
little riding-switch in his hand. They arrived at 
the kraal with the first glint of day, and attacked 
the unsuspecting natives, who were shot as they 
ran from their huts. Some seventy were killed, 
there being only one white casualty, a man named 
Schwartz shot through the lung, but he survived. 

The column then returned to the foot of the 
kopje, and an argument shortly arose as to the 
number killed, Rhodes saying one thing and some 
one else (probably Grimmer) another. 

"Very well," said the Old Man, "we'll count 
them again," and immediately started off up the 
kopje alone to make a recount of the bodies. 

The night before the fight one of the burghers had 
a quarrel with a sergeant-major, whom he struck. 
A complaint was immediately made to Rhodes, 
and he sent for the burgher, who admitted the 


" Of course," said Rhodes, " I know there was 
a woman at the bottom of it. There always is. 
You needn't tell me anything about it. I 

The railway from the south was now being 
pushed on with all possible speed, as its completion 
meant the solving of the transport difficulty, which 
the ravages of rinderpest had made a very serious 
one. Up to then only ox transport had been 
employed, but during 1897 mules and donkeys 
were used, and I hope never to see again suffering 
such as was endured by the overworked animals in 
those days. The coach-mules were so poor that 
they could barely drag the coaches at walking pace, 
and had to be flogged on from stage to stage. 

Khama, the Bechuana chief, is said to have lost 
750,000 head of cattle by rinderpest, and on the 
old Hunter's Road I counted seventy of his wagons, 
abandoned with their loads, for any one to loot, 
the oxen having died of rinderpest. 

The Matabele Rebellion was no sooner over than 
the insurrection spread to Mashonaland, and the 
country was " up " from the Shangani to Umtali. 
It was not finally quelled until late in 1897. Here, 
too, a great number of murders were perpetrated 
before warning could reach outlying farms and 
stations. The Mashonas, who are a low type, and 
have none of the chivalrous instincts bequeathed 
to the Matabele by their Zulu ancestors, exceeded 
the Matabele in cruelty, and many atrocities and 
cases of torturing occurred. One unfortunate was 
captured in the Lo Magondi District, and his 
hands and feet having been hacked off, and the 

130 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

stumps seared to stop the bleeding, and his eyes 
gouged out, the Mashonas amused themselves by 
prodding him with hot assegais to make him 
wriggle. It was nearly three days before death 
brought him merciful release. Another man dis- 
covered the disembowelled body of his fiancee 
hanging from a rafter by a meat-hook, which had 
been thrust through her hand. 

Before leaving for England to attend the Com- 
mission, Rhodes spoke both at Cape Town and 
Port Elizabeth. " I am going home," said he, 
" to face the ' unctuous rectitude ' of my country- 
men." Many of his friends were seriously alarmed 
at the probable effect of these words, and tried to 
get him to modify or withdraw them. Some went 
so far as to come and meet his ship at Madeira. 

" Say something else," they advised. " Say you 
were misreported, and said * anxious or upright 
rectitude '—anything." 

"No," he replied, "I said unctuous rectitude, 
and I meant it." 

Talking to some friends afterwards he re- 
marked that he never made notes nor prepared 
his speeches. 

" And what about the ' unctuous rectitude ' 
phrase, Mr. Rhodes ? " asked the friend. 

" Oh, that," he replied, with a twinkle of the 
eye — "that I had ready three days before I 

Rhodes returned to the Cape after giving his 
evidence before the Commission, and received a 
tremendous ovation in Cape Town. It was a wild, 
gusty day, and it was almost impossible to hear 

1 897] FUTURE PLANS 131 

what was said, but one phrase sticks, and was the 
key-note of his speech — " My career is only just 

He then drove out to the ruins of Groote Schuur, 
where the new house was rising phoenix-like from 
the ashes. He paid one or two flying visits to 
Kimberley, and then determined to throw himself 
into northern expansion and development. " I 
have always loved the north," he said — " my 
north. They can't take that away. They can't 
change the name. Did you ever hear of a country's 
name being changed ? " I replied that the name 
would only be changed if the colony were lost to 
England ; but I mentioned Van Diemen's Land, 
and he seemed quite startled at the recollec- 

Rhodes never visited the Victoria Falls, but was 
most enthusiastic about the railways reaching the 
Falls, where the spray of the water would reach 
the carriages. " We are going on now to cross 
the Zambesi at the Victoria Falls. I should like 
to have the spray of the water over the carriages." 
With his characteristic touch of romance he often 
spoke of the pleasing idea of the train crossing the 
Falls in the mist arising from the gorge and 
having the spray of the water over the carriages. 
The little two-foot gauge railway, that later did 
such good service at the outbreak of the Boer War, 
was also being pushed on from Beira up towards 
Umtali. Since then, of course, the small gauge 
has been replaced by the standard 3 ft. 6 in., and 
the line completed from Beira to Salisbury via 
Umtali, while the little 2 ft. was taken up and 

132 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

relaid to the Ayrshire and Eldorado mines in 
Lo Magondi. 

The Chartered Company had concluded an 
agreement with Lewanika, king of the Barotse, 
on the upper reaches of the Zambesi, and Rhodes 
selected Bob Coryndon to go up as the representa- 
tive of the Charter. The territory is now known 
as North- Western Rhodesia, and has its adminis- 
trator and staff of officials at I^ivingstone. The 
Charter assisted Lewanika in his western-boundary 
dispute, and Rhodes was fearful at one time that 
the whole of the Portuguese claims were going to 
be allowed, and he wired to Beit to press the 
claims of the Charter, adding, " I well know the 
predatory instincts of my countrymen — when they 
can't rob the foreigner, they rob one anoth^ ; but 
I am damned if they're going to rob me ! " 

A portion of British Central Africa, north of 
the Zambesi, was also added to the Chartered 
Company's territory after an outbreak of the 
Angonis had been suppressed, and now forms 
North-Eastern Rhodesia, also having its adminis- 
trator and officials. 

Codrington was the first administrator, and 
when he came to see Rhodes the latter asked 
him what salary he expected. Codrington men- 
tioned a sum, and Rhodes said, " That seems 
rather a large amount." *' Well," replied Cod- 
rington, " I'm worth it, and 1 won't go for less." 
He was a strong man and a capable admini- 
strator. He succeeded Coryndon in North- Western 
Rhodesia, when the latter was appointed to 
Swaziland, but shortly afterwards a promising 


career was cut off by his untimely death while 
on leave in England. 

In all, the territory added to the Empire by 
Rhodes and the Charter amounted to over 
700,000 square miles, and, had he not been 
hampered, he would have increased this, for, as 
he said, " The world's surface is limited, and we 
ought to take as much of it as we can." 

The fact that British Central Africa and Uganda 
were preserved as British territory, and have not 
been allowed to fall into the hands of foreign 
powers, is indirectly in a large measure due to 
Cecil Rhodes. When Mr. H. H. Johnston (now 
Sir Harry) was a British Vice-Consul at Mozam- 
bique and visited Nyasaland, he found the territory 
up to Victoria Nyanza in danger, as an expedition, 
under Major Serpa Pinto and Coutinho, had pro- 
ceeded up the Shire River to Chikwawa, at the 
foot of the Murchison Falls. He immediately 
ordered the expedition to return, and to their 
chagrin they were forced to retire. Johnston then 
obtained from Lord Beaconsfield the promise of 
Imperial support; but immediately W. E. Gladstone 
came into power in 1880 Johnston was told that 
he could not rely on any financial aid from 
the Imperial Government. He later approached 
Rhodes, who immediately gave him a lump sum 
down, with which he was able to enlist a body of 
Sikhs for the suppression of the slave trade and 
the protection of the territory, the condition being 
that, should the Sikhs be required in B.S.A. Com- 
pany territory, their services would be available. 
Rhodes also gave him, I think, £10,000 a year 

134 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

(from the B.S.A. Company's funds) for some years 
to defray the cost of administration/ 

Although perhaps Rhodes's highest ambition 
was to bear a part in the consohdation of the 
British Empire — the formation of a great union 
with the Mother Country of the Over- Sea 
Dominions as integral parts of the Empire — in 
his life's work he is more nearly identified with the 
country named after him and the Union of the 
States of South Africa. To his thinking it was 
inevitable that Rhodesia should enter the Union, 
and although no one could prophesy when the 
time would be ripe for its inclusion, Rhodes had a 
clause inserted in the Order-in-Council pledging 
Rhodesia to enter the Union. 

The thought of Rhodesia — "my north" — was 
always a consolation to him in the dark days when 
his previous supporters at the Cape had forsaken 
him, and, as he pathetically put it, he was aban- 
doned by his erstwhile friends and hampered by 
those whose assistance he relied on. He devoted 
his energies to the development of the north and 
its resources and establishing telegraphic and, later 
on, railway communication between Cape Town 
and Cairo. 

Of course, Rhodes's schemes for northern ex- 
pansion required control of huge sums of money, 
but he did not hesitate to use De Beers' funds, 

* I believe £7,500 a year is still paid by the Charter to the 
Admiuistrator of British Central Africa as a kind of insurance 
against rebellion— i.e. the Charter to have a call upon the services 
of the Sikhs and King's African Rifles in case of trouble in North- 
Eastern Rhodesia^ and also some use of the Main Transport Depart- 
ment of the Nyasaland Government in Nyasa. 


when necessary, not only for his political aims 
at the Cape, but for supporting the Charter and 
the Transcontinental Telegraph Company (of the 
latter I think Rhodes held 90,000 of the 100,000 
shares). Much of the debenture capital of the 
Rhodesian railways was raised under guarantee by 
the Imperial Government, and I shall never forget 
Rhodes's rage in 1898 when he returned from an 
interview with the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
(Sir Michael Hicks-Beach), whom he had ap- 
proached with a view of obtaining a guarantee for 
a further northern section of the railway-line. 
Rhodes seems to have stormed at the Chancellor, 
who washed to temporize, and the latter said, " It's 
all right, Mr. Rhodes — you can't bluff me." Some 
one entered the room where " the Old Man " was 
stamping up and down, and he turned round and 
shouted out, '' What d'you think ? The damned 
fellow said I was trying to bluiF him! I'm going 
home to-morrow." And sure enough he sailed 
next day for the Cape. 

After dinner that night, however, Rhodes went 
over to Alfred Beit's house, and preliminaries were 
arranged for obtaining the money required without 
an Imperial guarantee. 

In return for the support given by De Beers to 
the Charter, they received the right of pre-emption 
over all diamondiferous ground in Rhodesia — 
practically the monopoly of the precious stones — 
and the enforcement of the I.B.D. Act. A pros- 
pector who thought he had discovered diamonds in 
Rhodesia came to " the Old Man " once in Salisbury 
and said, " Mr. Rhodes, if I bring you a handful of 

136 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

rough diamonds, what shall I get ? " "About fifteen 
years," was Rhodes's reply. 

Khodes pinned his faith on the gold in Rhodesia 
from the time of Frank Johnson's report to the 
time of the dropping of the stamps on the Geelong. 
" Heany will save the country," he said, in 
referring to the Geelong, which he looked upon as 
a great proposition. 

At the end of 1897 Rhodes, there can be no 
doubt, was rather depressed at the prospects of 
Rhodesia, though this may have been due in part 
to his ill-health at the time. He certainly did 
his best to stem the tide of immigration which 
threatened, and actually set in after the opening 
of the railway to Bulawayo on November 4, 1897. 
In referring to this period afterwards, he said, '* It 
was a very black time — every one was howling, 
and De Beers and the Gold Fields would not give 
me any money. "^ His views then are surprising 
to those who contemplate the exertions and efforts 
to-day of the Land Settlement Department and 
the inducements they offer to introduce immi- 
grants and attract settlers. Of course, now, as 
then, the poor man is not wanted, and every 
immigrant must prove himself a desirable settler 
by the possession of cash, but Rhodes at that time 
had no desire for men without capital, and he had 
little faith in the pastoral and agricultural future of 
the country, though he did say that if it paid to 
grow mealies in Egypt on irrigated ground worth 
£100 an acre, it should pay in Rhodesia. 

Personally, he said, he was prepared to stand or 

» See "Cape." 


fall by the gold in Rhodesia. He would be justified 
by the production of gold, provided the industry 
was not hampered by outside interference. He 
was feeling more or less despondent about every- 
thing at about this time — and he must have felt 
his hands were tied — the people were clamouring 
for some form of self-government, and the 
Chartered Company even were much more under 
control than anybody thought. It was hard to 
devise any system of government by the people, 
or at any rate one that would be at all effective, 
inasmuch as the Chartered Company, with their 
40,000 shareholders at home, were responsible for 
every penny of expenditure. As I have said, they 
had to bear the cost of the regular troops who 
were employed in suppressing the rebellion. They 
had to find the salaries for officials in whose 
appointment they had no say, such as the Resident 
Commissioner, and they had to maintain a force of 
police, the number of whom was out of all propor- 
tion to the needs of the country, and yet whose 
upkeep was insisted on by the Resident Com- 
missioner, who, to all intents and purposes, was 
their paid servant and yet in control over their 
affairs, while the Administration could do absolutely 
nothing without the consent and concurrence of 
the Imperial Government, through the High Com- 

The labour question was a very pressing one ; then, 
as now, the most important question of the day. 
As Rhodes said, the report sent to England by Sir 
Richard Martin, who was sent out as Resident 
Commissioner after the rebellion, and " the faddists 

138 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

of Exeter Hall " and the Aborigines Protection 
Society stopped his original plan of getting black 
labour, and it was almost unobtainable. Up to 
then natives could be got to work in return for 
permission to live on the land, which had all been 
cut up into farms ; but even that was stopped, and 
Rhodes said the British faddist had dealt the worst 
blow that had yet befallen Rhodesia.^ He hoped, 
then, by carrying the railway north to the Zambesi, 
to import natives from there, and also to discover 
good coal, which would lessen the cost of gold pro- 
duction, and on this he was more or less relying. 
A significant utterance of his at the time was, 
" The man who wrote * It is possible for a new 
country to be connected by cable too soon with 
Downing Street ' knew well what he was saying." 

In 1901 an attempt was made to introduce 
indentured Arab labour, and two officials were 
sent to bring them to Beira. Instead, however, of 
being supphed with the inland labourers, who 
might have been of some use, they apparently 
recruited the scum of Aden. I saw them in a big 
compound at Beira surrounded and guarded by 
Portuguese soldiers, and a more miserable lot of 
diminutive wretches I have never set eyes on. 

After some trouble, owing to their supplies of 
ghee^ having run out, they were drafted up 
country to the mines, and then the fun began. 
They were terrified out of their wits at the idea of 
going underground, and deserted in all directions, 

1 Large areas have been surveyed as native reservations, but no 
practical effort has been made to make them settle in them. 

'^ "Ghee "—a compound of rancid butter eaten with rice, the usual 
labourer's ration in the East. 


and for some time the police did nothing but 
chase Arabs. They were finally all drafted back 
to Aden, and the experiment is not likely to be 

Up to 1897 the territory from which most of the 
present labour supply is now obtained was con- 
tinually raided ; the Arab slave-traders and ivory- 
stealers were a source of great trouble in the north, 
and were using B.S.A. territory as a short cut to 
Zanzibar. With their allies, the " Awemba," ^ they 
used to raid the "M'senga."^ In September 1897 
a party of fifteen native police attacked the 
marauding Arabs, burned their boma, ^ and cap- 
tured several of the Arab chiefs and liberated some 
two hundred women and children slaves. 

The Awemba were dealt with, and the M'senga 
were released from bondage. Hitherto they had 
been absolute slaves of the Arabs, having to grow 
grain, kill elephants, etc., etc., for them. The 
bomas established then shut up the great Arab 
caravan route and put a stop to the slave-dealing 
caravans which were going through weekly. 

Although the railway has been running across 
the Zambesi for some time, it has not had the 
effect Rhodes anticipated of providing the neces- 
sary native labour, and although many natives are 
now imported from the north to work for various 
periods, most of them walk down. 

In 1898 Rhodes was reappointed chairman of the 
B.S.A. Company at the general meeting held in the 

^ "Awemba^" '^M'senga" — native tribes. 

^ " Boma " — zareba or kraal ; temporary settlement, usually fortified 
and entrenched ; lit. enclosed space — scherm. 

140 RHODES AND THE NORTH [ch. vii 

Cannon Street Hotel, and had an ovation such as 
probably has never been accorded to any private 
individual in London. The hall was packed to 
suffocation ; the stairs v^ere one swaying mass of 
shareholders eager to welcome Rhodes back, and 
even in the courtyard in front of the hotel there 
was a mass unable to gain admittance. I went 
up with Mrs. Maguire and the Honourable Evelyn 
Rothschild, for whom seats had been reserved, but 
arriving a few minutes after the hour at which we 
were expected, we were unable to gain admittance 
to the hall. The reception accorded to him must 
have quite satisfied him in regard to the position he 
held in the minds of the shareholders of the Com- 
pany, and he certainly was very pleased when he 
returned from the meeting. He probably felt as 
he did on his visit to England after the Raid, anent 
which he said to Jourdan, " When I saw the 
London bus-drivers and cabmen touch their hats 
to me in a friendly sort of way, I knew I was all 
right, and that the man in the street had forgiven 

Rhodes left for the Cape not long after, and 
threw himself with all his energy into the develop- 
ment of the north. 



Although I was appointed to the Colonial Office 
at the Cape in the beginning of 1893, when the 
Prime Minister's Office formed part of the Colonial 
O^ce, and used to see Rhodes every day, it was not 
until his return after the Raid Commission that 
I spoke to him. He was then the recipient of 
addresses from all sections of the community, and 
1, with others on the staff, deemed it my duty to 
call at Groote Schuur, and looking on it as a 
terrible bore, hoped to get it over as soon as 
possible. To my surprise, however, when my card 
was sent in, a steward came out and told me 
Rhodes wished to see me. I went round the 
house and found him seated in his favourite chair 
on the back stoep facing the mountain. With him 
was Sir Richard Southey, an old friend of my 
father's. " Well," said Rhodes, " I wondered 
when you were coming to see me." I felt certain 
qualms at the recollection of his having seen me 
lunching at Poole's nearly every day at the next 
table to him, and wondered if I were going to be 
cross-examined as to how a civil servant could, 
" on tuppence a year," as he put it, patronize the 


142 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

expensive Poole. I fenced by saying that he was 
so little at home that one could hardly hope to see 
him when one called. " And now," said he when 
tea had been brought, " what do you want ? " I 
wondered if he expected me to ask for a horse or a 
piece of silver, and feebly replied, " What do you 
mean, Mr. Rhodes?" ''Why did you come to 
see me ? What can I do for you ? " I answered 
that I had not come up with any definite idea as to 
anything he could do for me, and added, " I really 
don't want anything." " What ! don't you want to 
go up country ? " he asked. ** Ah, yes," I repHed, 
" I have always wanted to go up country ; but you 
understand that that is not the reason why I came 
here to-day." I was beginning to wish myself well 
out of it, when Sir Richard Southey created a 
diversion by speaking of my father in his young 

Shortly afterwards I rose to go, and then 
Rhodes said, ** All right : if you want to go north, 
just write me a note to say so, and I'll get Milton 
to get you up. *' Very well — thanks," I answered; 
"I'll write to-night." "Ah, then you did want 
something ? " he said, with a smile. " No, I did 
not," was my reply, and I left. That evening, 
however, I thought things over, and instead of 
writing as he suggested I wrote and told him that 
I was sorry that he misinterpreted the object of 
my call — that I had not come to get anything out 
of him, strange as it might seem, and that 1 
declined with thanks his offer to send me north. 
(This letter of mine I found after his death in a 
small bag which Tony, his valet, carried for him ; 


and he, in referring to it once, said smilingly to 
Jack Grimmer before me, " He was very angry 
when he wrote that, wasn't he ? ") Of course, I 
knew that 1 should hear from him again, and his 
reply was an invitation to call upon him on my 
way to office next morning. I went, and found 
him in flannels on the back stoep, and he greeted 
me most cordially, gave me a lecture on con- 
trolling the temper, and told me to come and see 
him again on his return from Kimberley. 

I thought that was the end of the matter ; but one 
Tuesday afternoon in May I was walking up the 
avenue leading to Groote Schuur when he passed 
me in his Cape cart, and, stopping, he told me 
to get in. We drove up to the house and found 
Jourdan in the billiard-room. I had known Jourdan 
(who is my senior by some years) for some time. 
Rhodes then asked me whether I would have tea 
or whisky-and-soda. I declared for tea, and " the 
Old Man " said to Jourdan, " Which do you think 
he'd rather have ? " " Oh, I think a whisky-and- 
soda," said Jourdan. It was accordingly ordered, 
and I was nearly poisoned by the first whisky-and- 
soda I had ever touched. Rhodes then turned to 
me and said, "I'm going north to-night, and may 
go on to the Zambesi. Would you like to go with 
me and write my letters ? " " Certainly," I replied, 
" but I shall have to resign my appointment ; but I 
can do so to-morrow, and leaving on Thursday 
night meet you in Kimberley." '' Very well," he 
answered, " that will do. I'll give you a letter to 
Sir Pieter Faure " (Secretary for Agriculture; he 
would not write to Te Water, who was Colonial 

144 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

Secretary), "and as a young man leaving Cape 
Town must have a few debts, here is a cheque to 
clear them off." Handing me the letter and cheque, 
which was for more than I had had at one time in 
my life before, and telling me to come and see 
him off by train that night, he left the room. I saw 
him off that night, and having made my arrange- 
ments I was prepared to leave on the following 
day, when, to my surprise, a telegram arrived 
telling me to go to Salisbury by the quickest 
route — ix, via Beira. I hardly understood this; 
but as, instead of resigning the Cape Civil Service, 
I had arranged for transfer from the Cape to the 
Rhodesian Civil Service, I felt I had taken a wise pre- 
caution. I entrained for East London to catch the 
coast boat, but at Beaufort West I received a wire 
from Rhodes telling me to come on to Kimberley. 
I immediately changed into the northern section of 
the train, and arrived at Kimberley to find Tony 
de la Cruz on the platform anxiously scanning 
the carriages until he saw me, when he came 
up with beaming countenance. I found then that 
Rhodes had intended taking Jourdan up north with 
him as far as Salisbury, but the latter had got laid up 
in Kimberley and was about to return down country, 
and Rhodes was on tenterhooks, until he heard that 
I had arrived, as he had no one " to write his letters." 
I immediately took charge of his despatch-boxes, 
code-book, cheque-book, etc., and the same day we 
left for the north by special train in De Beers' 
coach, which was afterwards used to convey Rhodes 's 
coffin from Cape Town to Bulawayo. Besides 
Rhodes, Messrs. Gardner- Williams, Captain Pen- 


fold, and Francis Oats, directors of De Beers, who 
were going up to inspect the Monarch Mine, were 
on the train, as well as Mr. Bisset, the newly- 
appointed general manager of the Bechuanaland 
railways and Colonel Harry White, who had just 
returned from his term at HoUoway for his share 
in the Raid, and the indispensable Tony completed 
the party. The railway terminus was then at 
Mochudi, but the line had been roughly laid for 
construction purposes as far as Tati (Francistown), 
and was being pushed on in places at the rate of 
two miles a day. The De Beers' car was, 1 need 
hardly say, luxuriously appointed, having, amongst 
other things, a full-length bath, cold storage 
chamber, etc., etc. 

On the way up some of us one day lunched with 
a railway official, and in Rhodes's honour a couple 
of bottles of champagne were provided — an un- 
wonted luxury in Bechuanaland, into which Khama 
prohibits the importation of any intoxicating liquor. 
Delicate champagne glasses also graced the board, 
but Rhodes would have nothing to do with these, 
and, seizing the biggest tumbler he espied, poured 
himself out a bumper. The hostess's face was a 
picture of dismay, but her fears as to the pre- 
cious wine "going round" were allayed by the 
rest of us contenting ourselves with whisky-and- 
soda. For the matter of that there was plenty 
of champagne on the car a few yards away. 

Rhodes was terribly bored by the addresses of 

welcome — some beautifully engrossed — read out 

to and presented to him, and certainly did not 

take much pains to conceal his impatience when 


146 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [cH. viii 

they were being read out. When we arrived at 
Mafeking, a committee of citizens, headed by the 
mayor, waited on him at the railway platform, 
and made their obsequious bows, and presented 
the inevitable scroll ; and shortly after these pro- 
ceedings were over a rough-looking sportsman, 
looking a typical prospector, elbowed his way 
through the crowd, and, holding out his hand in 
greeting (I'm not sure he did not spit on it for 
luck!), said, "Hullo, mate!" "Hullo!" said 
Rhodes, gripping his hand, to every one's astonish- 
ment, " I'm very glad to see you again." He 
afterwards told me that he had known the man 
well in the old Kimberley days, and that they 
had worked as miners on adjoining claims. 

At Mafeking we met the members of the " Lake 
N'gami Trek." These were a number of Dutch 
famihes who were got together by the Rev. 
Adriaan Hofmeyr, and who were going to trek 
through the Kalahari Desert to settle round about 
Lake N'gami ; they had a number of things to 
discuss, and Rhodes made me come and interpret. 
But 1 was decidedly nervous, not to say in a blue 
funk, and made an awful hash of it. Rhodes then 
came along, and, pushing me aside, said, " I can 
speak Dutch better than you can." He then 
harangued the trekkers in most villainous Taal, 
they nodding gravely the while. This trek was 
a failure, and after many hardships most of the 
people who composed it returned. 

At Palapye, in Khama's country, we saw Bob 
Coryndon, who was on his way across the Kalahari 
via Panda-Ma-Tenka, to take up his new appoint- 

1 897] TONY'S METHODS 147 

ment in Barotseland. While camped one night 
on the road near two wagons, which were out- 
spanned, I saw Tony grilling some steaks, and 
I asked him what they were. " Roan antelope," 
he replied. " Where did you get them ? " I asked, 
and he grinned and pointed to the wagons. I then 
asked him whose wagons they were. " I dunno," 
said Tony ; " I didn't see any one there." 

After several days by coach we arrived at 
Bulawayo, and went for a few days to Govern- 
ment House, which lies about three miles outside 
the town proper. It was built by, and really 
belonged to, Rhodes. It is situated at the place 
where Lo Bengula used to try and deal out 
punishment to malefactors, and the tree under 
which he sat when administering justice still 
stands. Fifteen miles off is " N'taba 'Zinduna " 
(the hill of the indunas), where a number of 
Lo Bengula's indunas were slaughtered ; and three 
miles away runs the Umguza River, in the pools 
of which swarm the sacred^ crocodiles, to whom 
those who offended Lo Bengula were thrown. 

Government House was, at the time of our visit, 
occupied by Sir Arthur Lawley, who was Admini- 
strator. The question of an appointment of an 
administrator in succession to Earl Grey had 
arisen, and the choice lay between Sir Arthur 
Lawley and Mr. W. H. (now Sir William) Milton. 
Rhodes could not be got to discuss the matter ; but 
one evening, when we were going to the drawing- 

^ The crocodile is not worshipped by the Matabele, but they are 
much incensed at one being killed, as they believe the killing of 
a crocodile will keep away the rain. 

148 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

room after dinner, as I got to the door one of 
the guests pulled me back, and said Lady Lawley 
wished to speak to Mr. Rhodes privately, and 
Rhodes found himself alone with her. She im- 
mediately tackled him, and I promptly went to 
bed. Rhodes came into my room late that 
night — furious — and asked me what the devil I 
meant by leaving him alone with the lady. A 
compromise was effected by the honours being 
divided, Milton becoming Administrator of Ma- 
shonaland at Salisbury, and Lawley Administrator 
of Matabeleland, the Administrator of Mashona- 
land bearing the title of Senior Administrator. 

Rhodes was now adding to his Matoppos farms, 
and had placed Percy Ross (of the Queenstown 
gang) in charge, under the guidance of the local 
manager of the Consolidated Gold Fields of South 
Africa, J. G. McDonald. 

One evening, while we were at Government 
House, Rhodes took me outside, and pointed to 
the twinkling lights of Bulawayo.^ "Look at 
that," he said — " all homes ; and all the result of 
an idle thought." 

In the gardens of Government House we met 
one morning a young fellow to whom Rhodes 
spoke ; and he told " the Old Man " that he was 
a nephew of a prominent English Radical Minister. 
Rhodes conversed with him for a while, and then, 
turning to go, he said, " You seem a pleasant sort 
of fellow, but you've got a damned bad man as 
an uncle ! " 

Leaving Government House we took up our 
quarters at the offices of the Consolidated Gold 


Fields in the town. I had an office and bed- 
room combined, partitioned off by a curtain, 
and Rhodes would lie on my bed, and listen to 
the never-ending stream of suppliants,^ who stood 
twelve deep outside the door, with petitions for 
all manner of things — one wanted to be set up 
in business, another a farm, another a span of 
oxen and wagon, and yet another to have his 
claim for compensation revised. Most of these 
had to be put off, nearly all had to be told to 
call again, and some had to be sternly discouraged. 
My favourite excuse was, " Mr. Rhodes is away at 
his farm in the Matoppos, but if there is any- 
thing I can do for you ..." and so on. But 
now and then, just as I had assured some urgent 
petitioner that "the Old Man" was miles away, 
I would hear a grunt, and Rhodes would pull the 
curtain aside, and, emerging from my " bedroom," 
say in his well-known falsetto, " Well, and what 
do you want?" The visitor's look at me would 
be full of eloquence. 

Rhodes was giving away money during these 
months at an enormous rate, and it is no wonder 
that he was heavily overdrawn on his accounts at 
Kimberley, Cape Town, and London. Numbers 

^ It must be remembered that a majority of these people had risked, 
ill many instances lost^ all they possessed in pioneering the country. 
Their losses were in many cases direct, but by a quaint system of logic 
they ascribed everything to the Raid. If the police had not been 
withdrawn, rinderpest might have been stamped out, and they would 
have saved some cattle ; and if the rinderpest had not made it necessary 
to shoot native cattle, there would have been no rebellion, and their 
farms would not have been looted : even then, if the police were still 
in the country, the rebellion would not have been so serious and 
far-reaching in its eiFects — and so on ad infinitum. 

150 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

of men, whom it was found impossible to get 
employment for, or who were ill, were, during 
1896 and 1897, given free passages home to 
England by Rhodes ; and on one occasion he 
paid the passages to Cape Town of a whole 
circus troupe whom he found stranded. 

In Bulawayo every one was full of plans for the 
future. The opening of the railway had been 
arranged for November the 4th, and invitations 
were issued to a large number of members of the 
House of Commons. Stands in the town were 
eagerly invested in, and realized prices they have 
not seen since. Houses and blocks of offices and 
chambers were being built, and nobody foresaw 
that a couple of years afterwards many of them 
would be abandoned to the white ants, or free 
occupation of them allowed in order to have them 
cared for. Altogether a huge sum of money was 
spent in bricks and mortar which brought no return. 

Every one was, however, cheerful in anticipation 
of the promised boom. A prospector could sell 
almost any blocks of claims, while properties show- 
ing reasonable prospects were easily floated in 

A great number of companies were formed to 
take up gold properties, nearly all of them with 
large capital, and they were spending money freely. 
The majority of these have since been reconstructed 
or liquidated. 

During this time at .Bulawayo we used to ride 
out to the Matoppos, on an average, twice a week, 
and Rhodes had several horses — one in particular 
a rather fine-looking entire, but who wanted holding 

1 897] NO HORSEMAN 151 

up, as he stumbled badly. One had to be particular 
about his mounts, as he rode very carelessly, allow- 
ing the reins to lie on the horse's neck and sitting 
silently thinking, as if he were asleep.^ 

A shooting-party w^as arranged, and a quiet salted 
horse was saddled for him, while I was to ride the 
entire. When he came out, "Oho," he said, "of 
course the secretary must have the best horse. Off 
you get." I dismounted and we exchanged horses, 
and he and 1 rode on together to overtake the rest 
of the party, w^ho had gone ahead. Rhodes rode as 
usual in silence, his reins on the horse's neck, and 
presently the horse stumbled and threw him on to 
his neck. He very nearly came off, but clung on 
to the animal's neck until I could help him down. 
He w^as as mad as possible, and turning the entire 
loose kicked at him and immediately annexed the 
horse I was riding, saying, "Damn it, you meant to 
murder me ! " Here was a temperament to deal with. 

He was a very fair shot, but wild and reckless, 
and more than once peppered a beater. Jack 
Grimmer and I took care to keep out of range of 
him if possible. Otherwise we would throw our- 
selves flat down whenever we saw him raise his gun, 
for if a bird flew straight at your head you could 
rely on getting a charge of shot round your ears. 
Our " taking cover " always made him furious. In 
a beat or drive, too, he would get on to his horse 
and presently appear right in front of the guns. 

' He had a very bad seat on a horse, and I doubt whether he could 
have sat a horse at the trot. I never saw him trot a horse. In Kimber- 
ley his nickname amongst the diggers was '^ Jack Ashore," owing to his 
seat on a horse and the fact that the loose trousers in which he rode 
worked themselves up to his knees. 

152 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

At Bulawayo he said to me once, " A man should 
always try and carry out his ambitions. Now your 
ambition was to be a doctor, and if you like you 
can go to England to-morrow and qualify in four 
years." I elected not to go, however. 

It was at Bulawayo in 1897 that he had the first 
heart attack while I was with him. We were out 
riding one afternoon, and he suddenly reeled and 
nearly fell off his horse. We turned and came in 
slowly, and he said, '' Remind me, when we get 
home, to give you something, in case anything 
happens to me." I made a deprecatory remark, 
and he said, " Don't be a fool ; you can't go back 
to the Civil Service at tuppence a year." When 
we got in, he asked me to go to the chemist's 
and get some cold cream, as he felt sunburnt ; and 
when I returned he handed me a letter addressed 
to B. F. Hawksley, superscribed, " To be delivered 
by Gordon le Sueur." It was a very tattered 
envelope when I gave it to Hawksley, and after 
Rhodes's death proved to be a bequest of £5,000. 
This £5,000 I invested in business at the Cape, and 
in twelve months doubled it, but the slump which 
visited the Cape in 1904-5, and w^hich ruined 
nearly every land speculator there, swept it away. 

Rhodes spent much of his time at the huts on 
his Matoppo farms, and he then conceived the idea 
of building a huge dam which would irrigate one 
of the farms. He immediately set about having 
surveys made, and would work out the probable 
capacity of the dam, which he declared would be the 
biggest in the world. Although it was pointed out to 
bim that the ciatchment area was only four and a half 


square miles, he could not be persuaded that the 
dam would never fill. As a matter of fact, filled 
to its greatest capacity it would only be a moderate- 
sized reservoir compared to many in America and 
other parts of the world ; but his heart was set on 
the dam, which he said was to be the biggest in the 
world, and the dam was accordingly built at huge 
expense. It never has been nor ever will be full ; 
nor if it were, is there sufficient irrigable land below 
it to justify the expenditure. 

About this time a dam was being made by Huntley 
on an adjoining farm, and in the course of excavating 
a gold reef was exposed, and a prospector immedi- 
ately pegged the site of the dam as a gold location. 
To obviate this danger Rhodes had the Matoppo and 
Inyanga blocks of farms reserved against prospecting. 

Rhodes was fond of taking parties out to the farm, 
and on the second occasion that 1 went out on our 
return darkness had fallen and I was riding behind. 
The whole party over-rode the track turning to 
Bulawayo about two miles from the town, and went 
on into the veld. I was keeping a look-out for the 
track, and turned up into it, rode on a little way, 
and then shouted out to them. They got back on 
to the road, and then Lord Grey asked me how I 
had managed to keep the track. " Oh," I answered, 
" I've been here once before, you know." I heard 
Rhodes grunt eloquently, as I expected he would. 
An abscess formed in my palate while here, and the 
only available doctor, now deceased, was addicted 
to morphia. He treated me for neuralgia, and the 
pain became unbearable. Rhodes walked off to 
the club oije evening and came back with a large 

154 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

bottle of champagne in each of his overcoat pockets, 
and remarked, " There is only one treatment for 
that sort of pain. You drink both of these and 
go to sleep." 

I had long wanted to hear details of the Raid, 
but Rhodes said very little on the subject, until 
at Bulawayo a long letter arrived from England, 
enclosing a copy of the Raid Commission's report, 
w^hich the writer described as a " most mendacious 
document." I handed it to Rhodes without read- 
ing it, as I was not sure whether he wanted me to 
or not. I was new to him then. He read the 
letter, and then gave it back to me with the 
report, saying, " You see how I have to trust 
my secretary ? " 

One afternoon Rhodes and I were sitting in his 
bedroom, when we heard cheering going on outside, 
and I saw that a crowd had collected. Going out 
to ascertain the cause, I found that Dr. Jameson 
had returned and was addressing the crowd. I 
went in and told Rhodes, who merely grunted 
and said, "All right, stay here." Jameson then 
entered the house, and Rhodes went in and met 
him in the dining-room. He held out his hand 
and said, " Hullo, Jameson ! " and Jameson shook 
hands, but never said a word. That was all that 
passed then, but that handshake was distinctly 
eloquent. Lord Grey came in shortly afterwards, 
and greeted me with, " Well, and how's the bump 
of locality ? " 

A meeting of the indunas of the Matabele 
nation was called at the Matoppo farm while we 
were at Bulawayo, at which " the Old Man " was 


asked to ratify numerous promises made to the 
natives at the time of his peace indaba of 1896. 

Various grievances were laid before him, and 
these were easily disposed of, but the natives' 
chief desire was that one of Lo Bengula's sons 
might be sent up to reign over them ; otherwise 
they submitted that the Matabele nation would 
cease to exist as a nation. 

The principle of hereditary chieftainship is 
strong in the native mind, and although the 
Matabele recognized that the Government, repre- 
sented by the Administrator, replaced Lo Bengula 
as the chief authority, they were yet intensely 
anxious to have one of their own race to represent 
them in disputes, as they put it, between them- 
selves and the Chartered Company. 

They particularly wished Lo Bengula's eldest 
son, N'jube, to be sent up, and he also was very 
anxious to be allowed to return to Bulawayo, " not 
as a king," he explained, " but as an itvifundisi 
(teacher), to point out to the people their duty to 
the white men." 

N'jube had, however, been sent down to the 
Cape, and was afterwards removed to Kimberley, 
where he remained up to the time of his death. 

Major Forbes at this time was endeavouring to 
get the Trans- Continental line through to the 
Zambesi by way of what is now the Enterprise 
District, east of Salisbury and M 'tokos, but the 
natives were carrying off the wire and poles as fast 
as they were erected, and about the only portion 
recovered was nine inches of wire fired into the 
leg of one of the 7th Hussars by the natives. 

156 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [cH. viii 

The country through which Forbes was trying 
to pass was, moreover, very dry, the rebelhon was 
still raging in Mashonaland, and Rhodes made up 
his mind that the route was impracticable. He 
proposed to change it, so as to go from Umtali 
via Inyanga, and Jameson left for Salisbury to 
inquire into the feasibility of the new route. 

Shortly afterwards came the news of the defeat 
of Kunzi and Mashomgombi, and the road was 
considered safe. We accordingly left for Salisbury 
by special coach, accompanied by Sir Lewis 
Michell, and as far as Gwelo by Sir Arthur 
Lawley. The indispensable Tony de la Cruz was 
with us, and we carried our own supplies, camping 
just where we felt inclined. I had an Irish setter with 
me, who travelled on foot the whole three hundred 
miles. Sir Arthur Lawley was going to camp 
out with Lady Lawley and some friends — we 
heard afterwards that nine lions had attacked their 
laager and that they shot four of them. " By 
Jove ! " said Rhodes, *' Lady Lawley 's maid will be 
a heroine. What tales she will be able to tell 
when she gets home 1 " 

Lions were very numerous there, and one night 
we camped on the Shangani River, which was a 
particularly bad locality for them. It was a bright 
moonlight night, and Rhodes regaled Sir Lewis 
with gruesome lion stories. Then we went to 
bed, Rhodes and I under a sheepskin in the coach, 
while Sir Lewis had a little swinging cot on posts, 
which he set up close by. In the early hours of 
the morning I was awakened by a terrific yell, and 
jumping out saw Sir Lewis sitting up in his cot. 


Rhodes 's lion stories had had their effect. Sir Lewis 
said he was dreaming Kons, and awoke to find a 
great yellow beast licking his face. He let out the 
yell as he thought it was a lion, but it was only 
" Chance," my Irish setter, displaying his affection. 

It was here that Rhodes tore up a small journal 
that I used to keep. He would have nothing to 
do with journals or diaries, since Bobby White's 
journal was discovered by the Boers on the field 
of Doornkop. 

At Gwelo we discovered that no accommoda- 
tion had been provided, but a banquet had been 
prepared. Rhodes had accordingly to sleep as 
usual in the coach, which was drawn up in 
the street ! The next afternoon I got wind that 
a deputation of ladies of the town was going to 
call on him in the coach and invite him to tea. 
When I told him, he grabbed his gun, and, telling 
me to follow with one of the boys, he made off for 
a belt of trees on the veld a little way off. Here 
he lay down, pulled his hat over his eyes pre- 
paratory to going to sleep, and told me to go on 
with the boy and shoot something and call for him 
at sundown. I went, and a couple of miles off 
came across " Buck " Williams, the Bulawayo 
hangman, prospecting for gold. I brought back 
a buck, and we walked home to the coach. We 
went on by way of Enkeldoorn, where there is a 
Dutch community, and where a " bucksail " dance 
was being held that night in Rhodes's honour. 
For the uninitiated I may explain that a " buck- 
sail" dance is held in the open. The ground is 
flattened down and the big tent or bucksail, which 

158 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

is used to cover wagons, is spread over it to form a 
dancing floor. Partners are selected, and these are 
retained during the whole of the dance, which 
generally lasts from sunset to sunrise, with intervals 
for refreshments. The orchestra usually consists 
of a concertina and guitar or fiddle, but in default 
of these a mouth-organ or two does service. 

The dance at Enkeldoorn was a very vigorous 
one, and Rhodes and I went to try and sleep in 
the store amongst cases of candles, etc., etc., while 
Sir Lewis was accommodated at the Standard Bank 
premises. The storekeeper also retired early, but he 
got little or no rest that night ; nor did we for that 
matter, for half an hour after retiring came a bang 
on the door, and a voice asked for " a bottle of dop 
(Cape brandy) please." " Five bob," said the store- 
keeper as he supplied it. Half an hour later came 
another request for a bottle. " Seven and six " was 
the charge for this ; and so each successive half-hour 
came the demand for dop, and each time the price 
went up half a crown. I went to sleep when the 
price had got to about twenty-five shillings and the 
music was getting erratic. At Charter we were told 
that a new road had been made and we set off along 
it. We went on till almost dark (about twenty-five 
miles I judged it) and arrived at the base of a big 
granite kopje. We were convinced that we were 
on the wrong road, but the mules were too tired 
to turn back. We outspanned, fires were lighted, 
and everything was made snug. About nine o'clock 
one of the boys came and called me out, and 
whispered to me to come with him. Rhodes and 
Sir Lewis had then turned in. I got my revolver 


and accompanied the boy to the foot of the kopje. 
We crawled up a little way, and he said, " Listen." 
I did, and heard natives talking excitedly and then 
shouting and clapping their hands. We returned 
quietly to the coach and the mules were given an 
extra feed. I did not go to bed that night, but 
about 1 a.m. roused the boys and Sir Lewis, and we 
turned back to Charter, nor was I sorry to leave 
the kopje behind. We should assuredly have been 
attacked at dawn. On our return to Charter we 
saw the officer in charge of police, and he said that 
a patrol was going out that very day to attack the 
kraal on the kopje under which we had spent the 
night. He spoke of a fight they had had a short 
time before, and on Rhodes asking how many were 
killed he replied, '* Very few, as the natives threw 
down their arms, went on their knees, and begged 
for mercy." "Well," said Rhodes, "you should 
not spare them. You should kill all you can, as it 
serves as a lesson to them when they talk things 
over at their fires at night. They count up the 
killed, and say So-and-so is dead and So-and-so is 
no longer here, and they begin to fear you." 

When we got into SaHsbury in July 1897 I 
thought it was the most dismal hole I had ever 
seen. In spite of its being the dry season a soak- 
ing rain was falling, and the streets, ill-lighted by a 
few straggling oil-lamps, were a mass of mud. It 
was about nine o'clock at night, as Rhodes wanted 
to get in by dark, so as to have no demonstrations, 
and we went straight on to Government House, 
where we found Dr. Jameson. Rhodes was disgusted 
to find him dining off Australian tinned mutton, 

160 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [cu. viti 

which Jameson laughingly said was very good stuff. 
Things were then at famine prices. Fresh meat 
almost unobtainable (Rhodes bought a duiker 
[buck] weighing about 35 lb. for £40), eggs 40.9, 
a dozen, and most other things in proportion. It 
was a nice comfortable house, but any house would 
have seemed a palace after nine days in that coach. 
The question of the telegraph was immediately 
gone into, and Jameson set off for Umtali to try 
and go through Inyanga to the Zambesi. 

A day or two afterwards Jack Grimmer turned up 
from Umtali with Dr. Craven. Craven had ridden up 
on one of Rhodes's horses, lent to him by Grimmer, 
and " the Old Man " was furious at his horse being 
lent. Grimmer was riding a big, rawboned white 
horse, and Rhodes thought he liked the look of him, 
and said, " You gave away my horse, so I'll take 
yours in return," and he prepared to mount. 
Grimmer begged him not to ride him, as he took a 
lot of handling ; and 1, having seen the horse going 
through some of his tricks, joined in. " I suppose 
you think I can't ride," he said, and climbed into the 
saddle. The horse immediately went off across a 
vacant stand at a jolting trot, taking about six yards in 
his stride. Rhodes bumped about for a bit, and then 
managed to pull up sufficiently to jump off. The 
horse went off at a gallop, and Rhodes strode up 
to us, purple with rage. " Confound your brute of 
a horse. 1 believe you tried to kill me I " he cried. 

While here a shoot was arranged for Rhodes 
down the Mazoe Valley, beyond Mount Hamp- 
den, and in the afternoon Rhodes proposed 
that we should walk down the bed of the river. 

1 897] A SHOOTING PARTY 161 

where he thought we should get some wild pig. 
He stipulated that we should go on foot, and no 
one take a horse. I was with him towards the 
right bank, the rest of the party on the left. After 
going about two miles in the broiling sun, some 
shots were fired by the others, and I heard the shot 
rattling in the reeds round us. Rhodes immediately 
threw himself down on his face and covered his 
eyes. Just then I saw his horse being led down 
the road on the opposite bank, and as I had had 
quite enough of the old rice-fields we had been 
walking through, I suddenly turned and fired both 
barrels to our rear, and yelling out " pig " I ran 
back. Then I sat down and saw Rhodes go across 
to the others. I then made my way back to the 
camp and lay down under a tree. A short time 
afterwards Rhodes rode up. " What's the matter 
with you ? " he inquired. I only groaned. " Have 
you got a touch of fever?" said he. "I think I 
must have," I repHed ; " I know I feel awfully 
queer." He went off to the wagon and got a big 
glass of gin-and-soda, and made me drink it, and 
also ten grains of quinine, and he was thus 
tending me when the rest of the party returned. 

A carnival was held at Salisbury in July 1897, 
and included three days' racing, and Rhodes was 
asked to occupy the judge's-box. 

Rhodes hated riding-breeches and top-boots, 
hunting-stocks, and anything loud in the way of 
dress, and had lectured Grimmer and myself on the 
subject at Salisbury. He then went off to the 
races, saying as he went, " I hope you won't come 
down and make fools of yourselves at the races." 

162 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

Some time after he had gone Grimmer and I 
arrayed ourselves in riding-breeches, boots, spurs, 
and the gaudiest ties and loudest checks we had. 
We then mounted two small ponies belonging to 
Dr. Jameson. When we were mounted, our feet 
came to within a foot of the ground ; and in all 
our glory we set off to the racecourse. Carefully 
avoiding the judge's-box in which Rhodes was, we 
made our way to the opposite side of the course, 
and waited until the horses in the hurdle race had 
passed us. We then set off and galloped down 
the course after them. Rhodes was furious, and 
we left the meeting before he did. We knew it 
would never do to face him alone that evening, so 
went to the Salisbury club, and we invited every 
one we met to dine with Rhodes that evening, 
and we all went up together — about eleven in all. 
Rhodes was more or less spluttering all through 
dinner, but the culminating point was reached 
when at pyramids after dinner Dr. Craven calmly 
told him that he did not know the rules of the 
game. Rhodes went straight off to bed, and when 
we met at breakfast next morning said, "Look 
here, in future when you go out, Le Sueur, 
Grimmer stays in, and when Grimmer goes out 
you stay in, but you don't go out together again." 
As to Dr. Craven, when his name was mentioned 
to him later, he said, " That's the damned fellow 
who rode my horse, and said I couldn't play 
pyramids I " 

While we were at Salisbury a bazaar was held 
in connection with the carnival, and Rhodes went 
down, late of course, and was gaily plundered at 

1897] MANICALAND 163 

every stall. The stalls had been fairly well cleared, 
but he bought about a hundredweight of sweets, 
which he said would do to " feed Le Sueur on." 

The carnival was arranged to boom the capital 
a bit, and a week of festivity was indulged in ; 
but, if I remember rightly, only nineteen visitors 
arrived to attend it. 

Salisbury stuck to its tin shanties much longer 
than Bulawayo, and never, as the latter place did, 
overbuilt itself nor locked up money in bricks 
and mortar; in fact, at the present day even, 
despite the fact that the town has during the 
last twelve months had an unprecedented building 
boom, accommodation is very hard to obtain. 

From Salisbury we went on to Umtali, where 
we camped on the Portuguese border, which runs 
just at the back of the town. 

By every law of equity the border should be about 
fifteen miles farther east, if not at Ma9equece. 

The Portuguese had never really beneficially 
occupied M'tasa's and Gungunhana's countries 
(Manicaland and Gazaland), while a chief 
(Makoni, Gouveia's father-in-law) farther north 
still defies them. A punitive expedition was once 
sent against him by the Portuguese, with the 
only result that he took two maxims from them, 
which are still in his possession. Part of M'tasa's 
territory falls under the Charter, while Gungun- 
liana fought the Portuguese for years, vainly 
appealing to the British for assistance, until he 
was at last captured by treachery and confined 
in a dungeon dug in the mud at Mozambique. 

In 1891 the Chartered Company's camp at 

164 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

Umtali, eighteen miles from Mac^equeee, was 
attacked by four hundred Portuguese. Colonel 
Heyman was in charge there with some thirty- 
seven troopers. The Portuguese were repulsed, 
and Heyman moved on to Ma^equece, which he 
took, kiUing about forty Portuguese and capturing 
nine guns and the Portuguese standard, which 
now adorns the wall in the library at Groote 
Schuur. Major Pat Forbes wished to move on 
by himself to the capture of Beira, armed only 
with a big knobkerrie, but he was dissuaded from 
attempting this feat of arms. The Portuguese 
were very much incensed, and active recruiting 
went on (mainly amongst students) in Lisbon. 
The most amusing part of the whole affair, how- 
ever, was that the Portuguese Minister wrote to 
Lord Salisbury and said the trouble was purely 
and simply with the Chartered Company, and 
requested that Great Britain should not interfere 
while the Portuguese sent out a punitive expedition 
and took reprisals I A boundary commission was 
afterwards appointed, and gave Portugal the 
territory up to Umtali, but as the high land 
nearly all fell to the Chartered Company they 
got the pick of the country. 

On our way to Umtali Dr. Jameson's two ponies 
were lost, and Grimmer and " John Grootboom," 
who spent so many years with F. C. Selous, went 
after them and caught us up with them a few 
days afterwards. We were now travelling with 
two wagonettes and four riding-horses, and at 
Umtali purchased two more horses. On the road 
was a police camp, in charge of which was an 

1 897] A FAIR DRAW 165 

officer of police whom Rhodes wished to avoid. 
We therefore camped three miles from it, and, in- 
spanning at midnight, passed it in darkness. At 
the next telegraph -station Rhodes wired to the 
officer some instructions, the wire commencing, 
" So sorry to have missed you ! " It was dusk 
as we neared Umtali, and Rhodes pretended to 
be asleep in the fore part of a wagonette, while 
Grimmer and I sat facing him at the back. He 
dreaded a demonstration on his entry, and so 
purposely delayed, to ensure getting in after dark. 
Grimmer and I had arranged to " draw " him, 
and as he lay with his eyes closed I said, " Jack, 
it will be no use sticking that flag up now, as it 
will be dark before we get in, and they will not 
know we have arrived." "Oh, that's all right," 
said Grimmer, as prearranged ; "I got hold of 
a war-rocket at the police camp, and when we 
get to the ridge above Umtali I'll loose it off, 
and they're sure to know." Just then Rhodes, 
who had taken in every word, jumped up, and, 
glaring at us, howled out, " I'm damned if you 
do I " He immediately saw that he had been 
drawn, and amid our shouts of laughter lay down 
again, growling, " I suppose you think you're 

We stayed some days at Umtali, where there 
were grievances to be looked into. Some time 
before the site of the town had been altered, but 
just as people were settling down, it was found 
that a deviation in the railway-line from Beira 
to Salisbury was necessary to avoid the Christmas 
Pass, and the line would pass about ten miles 

166 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

east of the town. As the railway could not be 
brought over the pass to the town, the obvious 
remedy was to take the town to the railway, and 
a fresh site was therefore laid out at the other 
side of the mountain crossed by the pass, and 
this is now Umtali. In 1897 the change was 
in progress, and people who had owned stands 
and built in Old Umtali, as it was known, were 
given other stands in the new township, and com- 
pensated for their buildings, etc. This compensa- 
tion was, as usual, the subject of bickering. 

From Umtali we went on to Inyanga, with 

wagonettes and riding-horses, and Rhodes was in 

most exuberant spirits as we reached the higher 

altitudes. " The Sanatorium of Rhodesia " he 

called Inyanga, and it was a revelation to any one 

who had only been in the lower country. It was 

August, and still cold, but at Inyanga, 6,000 feet 

above the sea, it was freezing. While we were 

there Rhodes completed the purchase of the farms, 

some 81,000 morgen, for £19,500 I think the 

figures were. On the journey he rode up one little 

hill after another, and often climbed up on foot, 

which, in that high altitude, may have conduced to 

the severity of the attack of heart trouble which 

assailed him later on. About thirty-five miles from 

Umtali an altitude of 5,000 feet is reached, and the 

veld undergoes a remarkable change, the country 

resembling the highlands of British-East Africa. 

The ground is covered with short grass, which is 

a welcome change from the rank tambookie^ of 

* Tambookie — a very coarse, reed-like grass. When the first shoots 
appear, it affords good grazing for cattle, but soon becomes too coarse. 

1 897] INYANGA 167 

the lower veld ; bracken grows luxuriantly, and 
there were plenty of blackberries and everlastings.^ 
Rhodes gathered a lot of the latter, and stuck them 
in a sort of crown in his hat-band. 

Near the homestead the altitude is about 6,000 
feet, rising towards Inyanga Mountain to 8,200 feet. 
The cold at this height is intense in winter, and 
in the early mornings a biting east wind prevails 
and a soaking Scotch mist drives before it. To- 
wards the east the country drops sheer away into 
the low-lying Portuguese territory, and a splendid 
vista unfolds itself from the top of the Pungwe 
Falls, the source of the Pungwe River.^ There 
is a great scarcity of timber, wood for fuel even 
being most difficult to get, but on the summit of 
Inyanga Mountain is a forest of cedars said to 
be the only cedars south of the Line. Numerous 
perennial streams of clear water intersect the 
hills, and ancient furrows, or water-leadings from 
these, give evidence that at some time or other 
a great part of the land was under irrigation. 
The furrows are well made, and only want clean- 
ing out to make them capable of service ; while 
the levels are worked out with mathematical 
precision. Some of the furrows can be traced for 
distances of three or four miles, and the water 
supply for the homestead, orchard, and garden is 
carried in one of them. On the hillsides along 
the streams shallow pits — possibly prospects for 

* Everlasting — immortelle — the emblematic flower of the Cape 

^ The Pungwe runs into the sea at Beira^ where it assumes the 
dimensions of a navigable river. At Inyanga it is a trickling stream. 
The falls are from 300 to 400 feet high. 

168 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

alluvial gold — abound. Scattered about are re- 
mains of old forges, but it is uncertain what 
metal was worked. Good indications of tin have 
been found, but the farms were long ago declared 
a reserved area against prospecting. We ploughed 
up an old well-made retort, which contained several 
specks of gold, and which is now at Groote Schuur. 
A few miles from the homestead the ruins of 
the dwellings of former inhabitants abound, but 
although some have been cleared out and excava- 
tions made, nothing has been found to furnish a 
clue to their identity, and, as usual, the Phoenicians 
are credited with the building. These ruins are all 
situated on kopjes, and extend for miles in unbroken 
sequence. The kopjes are all terraced off with 
rough-hewn stones, and on the summit of each a 
round paved pit exists. The pits are about 12 feet 
deep and 10 feet in diameter, and are roughly 
paved, sides and bottom, with stones. At the 
bottom of each pit is a tunnel, just big enough for 
a man to crawl through, which has its exit in an 
archway on one of the terraces. We used to speak 
of them as grain-pits, but it is impossible to deter- 
mine what they were actually used for : a possible 
theory is that slaves were confined in them, being 
driven through the tunnel into the pit, the top of 
which was probably covered over with timber, and 
the mouth of the tunnel could easily be closed. 
This is more or less borne out by the fact that 
these tunnels are none of them straight, but built 
in a curve, so no concentrated force could be 
applied to a stone or other obstruction placed 
against the mouth of the tunnel. 

1 897] A LION STORY 169 

From Inyanga the mountains stretch through 
Umtah into Gazaland, which was occupied and 
settled by the Moodies, who founded Melsetter. 
The country round Melsetter is very similar to 
Inyanga, and similar ruins of ancient habitations 
have been found there to those that exist at* 
Inyanga. On arrival at the homestead, which was 
a little stone house with four rooms, Rhodes imme- 
diately started ploughing. He sent me off with a 
wagonette to Umtali, and I brought up a number 
of young apple and other deciduous trees, which 
Grimmer and I planted. The apples seem to have 
thriven best, and although I have not been to 
Inyanga since, 1 have seen beautiful fruit from 
those trees exhibited for sale in Salisbury. 

While we were at Inyanga I used to ride down 
to Umtali to get the mail, and on my way back 
on one occasion my horse died of horse-sickness, 
and I had to carry my saddle and bridle, with a 
big bag of letters and papers, for thirty miles. 
The only thing Rhodes said on my arrival at the 
camp was, " Why haven't you got a copy of ' The 
Times ' ? " He little knew how near I was to 
throwing the whole lot over the Pungwe Falls ! 
On this trip I took no rifle or revolver, and on my 
way down was followed for two hours in the dark 
and in pouring rain by a lion, that could not have 
been more than a few feet from me. I could smell 
the brute in the grass at my side. After the two 
hours I got distinctly nervous, my only weapon 
being the stirrup-irons, which I carried by the 
leathers. My horse was knocked up, and when he 
scented the lion merely stumbled after me for a 

170 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

few yards and then stopped with a sigh. Then the 
lion would swish, swish through the grass up to 
us, and again we'd get on a few yards. At last I 
saw the light of a camp fire, and, abandoning the 
horse, I ran for it. I found it was the camp of one 
of the Telegraph Construction party. I remained 
there that night, and in the early morning found 
my horse outside making a meal off the roof of 
the little grass shelter. On my return, two days 
later, I found two lion skins pegged out to dry 
at the camp. 

In the meantime Dr. Jameson had made his 
way over the Inyanga Mountains to Tete on the 
Zambesi, and arranged a contract for construction 
towards the south. Cables were sent, diverting 
some of the material, and the remainder of the 
construction was given under contract to an Umtali 
man, and the work was speedily completed. 

While at Tete Dr. Jameson purchased and de- 
spatched to Inyanga a number of goats and about 
three hundred head of cattle. These were very 
wild, and Rhodes took great delight in watching 
Grimmer and me trying to break them in. Our 
efforts generally ended up in our shooting the ox. 
Jameson wired that he was returning via Chinde and 
Beira, and in the meantime Rhodes started aihng. 
We thought at first that it was a mere attack of 
fever, but he got worse and worse. He did not 
take much care of himself either, but would lie 
under the blankets until in a bath of perspiration, 
then jump up, strip himself stark naked, and 
expose himself to the draught from door and win- 
dow. He would not allow us to send for a doctor, 

1 897] ILLNESS 171 

saying that when Jameson arrived he would be all 
right. At last, however, on our own responsibility, 
we sent John Grootboom off on the best horse 
we had (a big sixteen-hand Australian Rhodes 
had just bought for me), and he returned in two 
days with a doctor, who gave him much relief. 
Grootboom killed my horse by overriding him, and 
the animal was shot in Umtali. Jameson returned 
a few days later, and Rhodes was soon on the 
way to recovery. When the Umtali doctor left, 
Rhodes asked him what the prescription was he 
had given him. He mentioned, among other 
things, digitalis. " Ah, yes," said " the Old Man," 
"that's the stuff; make a note of that, Le Sueur, 
and get a supply." 

At Inyanga Grimmer was bitten in the face by 
a scorpion or spider, and his face swelled up to huge 
dimensions. Rhodes was greatly concerned, and 
sat with him all day, and had everything moved out 
of the room, which he ordered to be scrubbed out 
with disinfectant from floor to ceiling. Shortly 
afterwards Grimmer had an attack of fever with 
an enlarged spleen. Rhodes hardly left his side, 
and although he pretended to be chaffing him all 
the time, he was much upset. There he sat with a 
basin of vinegar, with which he was bathing Jack's 
feet in the fond conceit that he was doing him a 
lot of good. Before Jameson's return Rhodes was 
really convalescing, and became very irritable. 
One morning I went into his room, and he made 
me feel his pulse and his heart, which was palpitat- 
ing. As a matter of fact, one could count his pulse- 
beats without touching him, as he had a lump 

172 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

the size of a pea on the inside of his left wrist, 
which he was very fond of watching and examin- 
ing. 1 said that I did not think that he need 
worry about the palpitations, as these might be 
caused by his liver being out of order or by 
eating something which had disagreed with him. 
He flew into a wicked temper, and told me to 
get out of his sight. " You only come in here 
to annoy me," he said, "and I wish you'd keep 
away altogether." "All right," I rephed, "I'll 
go away altogether." I went off, and getting two 
horses and some boys together, I took my rifle and 
went over the Inyanga Mountain and into Portu- 
guese territory, where I had excellent sport. After 
a week or so I got tired of being alone ; the rains 
were heavy, and I made for the homestead. I 
arrived at midnight on the tenth day, and quietly 
entered Jack Grimmer's room, which was next to 
" the Old Man's." "Hullo, how is * the Old Man ' ? " 
I said. " Oh, he is all right," said Jack, laughing ; 
"but you should have seen his face when I told 
him that you had gone." " Why, what happened ? " 
I asked. " Well, just after you left," said Grimmer, 
" I went in to see him, and found him in a snorting 
temper. Of course we had a row at once, and he 
told me to clear out. I said I'd go to Umtali and 
look for a billet, if he'd lend me the white horse." 
(This was a horse he had given Grimmer.) " He 
told me I could go to the devil as far as he was 
concerned, and then I went for him and told him 
that he'd better send for some one he could get on 
with, because I didn't believe that I'd met any one 
yet who would stay with him." He said, "Poof! 


Le Sueur will stay with me ; he won't leave me." 
" Then," said Jack, " I burst out laughing, and said, 

* Le Sueur ? Why, he's gone. He went two 
hours ago.' * The Old Man ' sat up and said, 

* What ! where's he gone to ? ' I told him I hadn't 
the least idea, but that you had packed all your kit 
and gone oiF without even saying * good-bye ' to 
me." Just then Rhodes, probably awakened by 
our talking and laughing, walked in in his pyjamas, 
and, rubbing himself in front in his characteristic 
way, he said, with his little whine, " H-e-e-e ! I 
knew you'd come back ! 1 knew you'd come back. 
Didn't I say so, Grimmer ? " But Grimmer was 
rolling over with laughter, and with a snort * the 
Old Man ' went back to bed. I turned in on the 
floor in Grimmer's room, and Peace reigned in the 
morning. This was towards the end of October, 
and Rhodes was bombarded by wires, inquiring 
whether he intended to be present at the railway 
opening at Bulawayo on November 4. He did 
not intend to go, but made a plausible excuse. 
Anxious inquiries as to his health were also 
reaching us in scores, and these had to be replied 
to in such a way as not to cause alarm nor possibly 
affect the Market. Numbers of telegrams were 
accordingly sent to the effect that he had been 
laid up, and was convalescing from a slight attack 
of fever, and that he did not think he could stand 
the fatigue of the coach journey from Inyanga to 
Bulawayo — a matter of five hundred miles. He 
read with keen interest, however, the reports of the 
proceedings and speeches, and was most impressed 
with Sir Arthur Lawley's speech and his reference 

174 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

to the march of Cambyses into Egypt. " I didn't 
think," said he, " he knew anything about Cam- 

While at Inyanga Rhodes was visited by quite 
a number of people, who made light of the sixty- 
mile drive or ride from Umtali. Amongst them 
was the late Mr. Gambier Bolton, the zoologist 
and wild-animal photographer, and he spent a few 
days at Inyanga. 

We moved down from Inyanga to Umtali at 
the beginning of November, and camped there, 
awaiting Lord (then Sir Alfred) Milner, who had 
been to the Bulawayo Railway opening. Mr. 
Hayes Fisher, M.P., also came down from Bula- 
wayo to Umtali, and spent a few days with us. 
Grimmer was left behind at Inyanga to take 
charge of the farms, and from Umtali we sent him 
up two wagonettes of stores in charge of Cape 
ploughboys. Grimmer wrote down afterwards, 
and said the wagonettes had turned up with 
nothing very much, except about 1 1 cwt. of niggers. 

John Grootboom, beloved of Selous, was given 
£lOO to go up to Bulawayo to fetch his wives, 
donkeys, etc., as he said he wanted to settle at 
Inyanga ; but he never returned, and has, I be- 
lieve, settled down as a big chief north of the 
Zambesi. From Umtali Rhodes cabled to Alfred 
Beit, and asked him to hire a yacht and accom- 
pany him to Japan. He also wrote to him, saying, 
" You and I have never seen the world, and we 
should see it before we die." He was also anxious 
for Mr. Harry Escombe, Premier of Natal, to 
accompany him. The proposed tour fell through, 


however, and all three are dead. While at Uintali 
Mr. E. Marks, of Messrs. Lewis & Marks of 
Vereeniging, came up in connection with a ranch- 
ing scheme. Rhodes told me to take him to 
Inyanga, and we went up. Marks made me rather 
nervous, as he would not believe the rebellion was 
all over, although the natives had not been dis- 
armed, and he sat in the cart with loaded rifle, 
swearing that he would shoot any native he saw 
with a gun. We got through without any trouble, 
however. Marks had a good look round Inyanga, 
and then made an application for a free grant of 
200,000 morgen of ground in blocks of not less 
than 50,000 morgen. As a quid pro quo for the 
free grant he undertook to spend a considerable 
sum in stock, implements, etc., and especially to 
experiment in horsebreeding. The matter was 
referred to the Legislative Council, but the pro- 
posal was rejected. It was while we were camped 
here in November that Rhodes was approached 
by the survivors of the ill-fated Moodie "trek," 
who occupied Melsetter, and in view of the hard- 
ships endured by them the story of their trek as 
related by Mrs. Dunbar Moodie may not be 

The Occupation of Melsetter 

In 1892 Rhodes was approached by the late 
Thomas Moodie and his son-in-law, Dunbar 
Moodie, with a view to his taking an expedition 
or "trek" into Gazaland, then under the sway 
of Gungunhana, the Shangaan chief, who was at 

176 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

war with the Portuguese. An agreement was 
made under which, if the task were undertaken, 
a farm would be given to Thomas Moodie and 
a farm of 3,000 morgen free of occupation ^ to each 
of his sons. He had twelve children, eight of 
them sons, and all of them accompanied the trek, 
which started in May 1892, with about seventy- 
white people. Rations, arms, and ammunition 
were provided by the Chartered Company at Tuli, 
but at Victoria a number of the intending " trek- 
kers," discovering that there was no road to their 
objective, Melsetter in Gazaland, and that the 
nearest town was Umtali, one hundred miles away, 
decided to remain where they were. The rest, 
with the spirit of the old Voor-trekkers ^ and the 
land-hunger strong within them, went on. After 
having been six months on trek the rainy season 
set in, and the little band began to suffer from 
fever. As they had to cut a road, they would at 
times "laager up,"^ and, leaving the women and 
children, the men would go on ahead cutting a 
road and selecting suitable spots in the mountain 
range for the ascent of the wagons. Moodie 
pushed on to the Sabi River, blazing a track on 

^ The occupation clause has been the subject of much bitter dispute, 
as grants of farms were made by the Chartered Company on the con- 
dition that the farm was occupied or otherwise confiscated. It was 
looked upon as a flaw in the title, as most recipients of farms could not 
possibly occupy. 

* Voor-trekkers — the name given to the early Boers, who, impatient 
of British or any other authority, trekked across the Vaal River, and 
founded the South African Republic. 

^ Laager up — camp : a laager is, properly speaking-, a zareba for pur- 
poses of defence, when wagons were outspanned in a circle, and the 
spaces between them filled with thorn-bush to ward off the attacks of 
savages or wild animals. 


the trees. At this time they were only making 
two miles a day, as most of their cattle died, 
some from foot-and-mouth disease, others from 
eating a poisonous plant ; and by this time, too, 
their tents, tarpaulins, etc., were worn out. Before 
reaching the Sabi they encountered long, sandy 
tracts, and, had it not been for the discovery of 
a tuberous root, they would have perished of thirst. 
To add to their hardships the children began to 
sicken, and the two women (Mrs. Thomas Moodie 
and Mrs. Dunbar Moodie) had their hands full in 
attending to the wants of the sufferers. Further- 
more they were constantly attacked by lions and 
wolves,^ and their dogs were taken one by one. 
They now had only two wagons left, and so few 
animals that one wagon had to be brought on to 
the outspan, and the oxen sent back for the other. 
Horse-sickness took the horses, and nothing could 
be done for them. The dumb beasts would come 
up to the wagons as if asking for help, and there 
lie down and die. The members of the trek be- 
came discontented, and, forgetful of the fact that 
all were enduring the same hardships, as was 
natural accused the leaders of misleading them. 
The Sabi was reached at length, and crossed 
where it is 1,000 yards wide, 1,700 feet above 
the sea, and thirty-five miles from their destina- 
tion. On the day of the crossing only four adults 
and two children were well. 

They had now to negotiate the mountain range, 

^ Wolves — the South African "wolf" is a large species of hyaena, 
or hunting-dog^ and hunts in packs. At certain seasons of the year 
they are extremely vicious and dangerous. 

178 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [cH. viil 

where they encountered huge trees, which had to 
be removed with dynamite, and when the dyna- 
mite was exhausted great boulders had to be 
broken up with hammers. The sick were ex- 
hausted with the heat, and, burning with fever, 
would ask for cool water, but there was nothing 
but tepid, muddy water to allay the pangs of 
thirst/ Christmas Day was now at hand, and more 
of them took ill — even the leader, Thomas Moodie, 
had to be helped on and off his horse. They now 
discovered tsetse-fly ahead, and they had to halt 
until a road could be made through the fly belt, 
but in spite of all efforts some of the cattle, 
including the best cows, were stung and after- 
wards died.^ The sick would try to walk, but 
fall faint, weary, and weak, and their groans and 
the cries of the children were heartrending as 
they were thrown and jolted about in the wagons. 
At last, after eight months' trekking, they reached 
the place they called Waterfall on January 3, 
1893, in country the foot of white man had not 
trod before. Provisions were exhausted, bread 
was a luxury, sugar an unknown thing, and stimu- 
lants counted and administered in teaspoonfuls. 

Dunbar Moodie, being the only able-bodied man, 
went out to try and get some game, but returned 
after many days on foot, his horse having died 
of horse-sickness. They were at last in the 
country they were to settle in — the Moodie family 

^ They were prepared to face all manner of hardships if only the 
young sons could become the landowners — such is the love of land 
amongst the Dutch. 

^ Animals stung by tsetse generally die after the rains. They grow 
poorer and poorer^ and have all the appearance of dying of poverty. 


of fourteen, Thomas Moodie and his wife, ten 
children, and two friends, who alone were left 
of those who set out with them. The new country 
spread out in open plains, and the air was cool — 
a very welcome change after being hemmed in 
by the thick bush of the low country. Dunbar 
Moodie made his way to Umtali through one 
hundred miles of unknown country, and Rhodes 
gave him a cheque for £200, which provided 
provisions for the party even at famine rates. 

Later on Moodie also went to Salisbury, and 
was appointed representative of the Chartered 
Company for Melsetter and Gazaland. The first 
season was a good one, and more or less established 
them. Several new settlers arrived, and an 
American mission was established. On April 27, 
1893, however, Thomas Moodie, worn out with 
hardships, died. A rough coffin was made out of 
the sides of a wagon, and as there were no whites 
natives carried his remains to their last resting- 

A demand was now made by the Chartered 
Company for quit-rent on the farms. As there 
was no possible hope of earning money, an appeal 
was made for remission, and Thomas Moodie was 
sure to the last that Rhodes would assist in the 
matter. His faith was not misplaced, as Rhodes 
granted a farm quit-rent free to Mrs. Moodie. In 
the meantime Dunbar Moodie was continually 
harassed by the Portuguese and Gungunhana. A 
Portuguese commandant came up with fifteen 
soldiers to arrest him, but Moodie, with two native 
police, put him across the border. 

180 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [cH. viii 

The youngest Moodie boy then died. Old Mrs. 
Moodie began to get distracted, and would wander 
away and be found crooning at the graves. 

About a hundred settlers came in, and, arriving 
exhausted and half-starved, they congregated at 
the Moodies', who gave them the little they had ; 
but over twenty of the new-comers died— most 
of simple starvation. Of one family four young 
orphans were left, the parents having starved to 
death. Dunbar Moodie undertook another journey 
to Salisbury, and food was then sent out and sold 
to the settlers. The prospective settlers, who 
came out to select farms, were the guests of the 
Moodies, who were, however, allowed £ 10 for each 
farm sold. Two native police were stationed at 
Melsetter for the protection of the settlers, and 
Portuguese companies and Portuguese had con- 
stantly to be ejected. The Moodies then had to 
feed and mount the settlers, who turned out as 
burghers, and who would also demand payment 
for their services. A Portuguese expedition came 
up to hoist their flag and take possession ; and in 
order to feed some twenty burghers, who went 
down and intercepted them, Dunbar Moodie sold 
some flint-lock guns, and for this he was afterwards 
arrested and marched a prisoner through the 
country, but released on bail. He was then 
Administrator, Postmaster, J. P., Native Com- 
missioner — in fact, Pooh Bah. Dunbar Moodie 
made a road to Umtali, but the exposure and many 
hardships ruined his health. A grant of nine farms 
was made to him, but only on the same terms as 
ordinary settlers. A good many settlers now left 


Melsetter, and roundly abused Moodie in the Press 
for having misled them and lured them to 
destruction. In 1895 Mrs. Thomas Moodie had 
to leave the country, ruined in health and hav- 
ing lost all she had. Four sons remained, one 
of twenty-two, one of twenty, and twins of 

A magistrate was appointed in 1895, and he seems 
to have made himself very obnoxious. His first 
act was to arrest Dunbar Moodie for gun-running 
(the matter of the flint-lock guns), he removed the 
township from Moodie's farm to a spot fifty miles 
off, and took the Moodies' native servants to carry 
his friends in "machelas."^ Mrs. Dunbar Moodie 
had now two children, whom she had named Cecil 
John and Leander Starr Jameson. In August 
1896 some fifty oxen of the Moodies were com- 
mandeered^ at £12 a head without a valuation by 
anybody, when in Umtali unsalted^ cattle were 
fetching from £16 to £20 a head. The Moodies 
protested, but were assured by the Administrator 
that they were being fairly, if not liberally, treated. 
In January 1897 Mrs. Dunbar Moodie's two 
children fell ill, and shortly afterwards her husband. 
Then her youngest child was born, no other white 
person being near. When her baby was a few 

* Machela — a hammock swung on a tough bamboo with a shelter 
from the sun^ and carried by four to eight boys — a means of transport 
much favoured by the Portuguese. 

^ Commandeer — to requisition ; the term became familiar during the 
Boer War of '99. 

' ''^ Salted cattle." As horses are said to be salted after >p.ving had 
horse-sickness, so cattle are said to be salted on recovering from 
rinderpest, red-water, or lung-sickness, whichever they are supposed 
to be salted against. 

182 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

weeks old, her husband died. On his deathbed he 
wrote his will, but there were no witnesses to sign 
it. The woman was alone with her dead and sick, 
and the will was declared worthless. 

She decided to go to the Mission Station in 
search of medical attendance for her children, and 
with these sick children and a baby in arms she 
walked the twenty miles in the burning tropical 
sun. Locusts then swept off her crops and rinder- 
pest carried off all cattle ; and, to crown all, Mrs. 
Moodie, the widow, received a letter from the 
Chartered Company to the effect that all her land, 
with the exception of the farm she was living on, 
was confiscated on account of non-occupation — 
this after paying £54 annually since 1893 and 
having the farms surveyed by order of the 
Company. On his deathbed her husband ad- 
jured her to see Rhodes about the cattle com- 
mandeered. To the last he pinned his faith on 
Rhodes's sense of justice. In Mrs. Dunbar 
Moodie's own words, " After my land was taken 
after all our wanderings and trials, with dishevelled 
hair and fever-stricken, I often went to his grave 
and called for help — called him, but he did not 
come. I could get nobody to live with me, and 
was there, in that lonely wilderness, with my little 
one stricken, smitten of God and afflicted and 
forsaken by man." 

In 1897 two of the early settlers remained in 
Melsetter. Mr. Moodie applied for one of their 
old farms adjoining the new township, and offered 
to give up some of their other land in exchange, 
but the application was refused, and so those who 


occupied Gazaland and established Melsetter, and 
repelled the Portuguese, had to be content with 
their farm fifty miles away from their township. 
Mrs. Moodie, as I have said, came to see Rhodes 
when we were at Umtali in November 1897, and 
he promised that the land should be granted to her 
free of the occupation clause. 

The Austrian scientist, Dr. Schlichter, made 
himself known here to Rhodes, and he accom- 
panied us to Salisbury. He afterwards returned 
to Inyanga and excavated several of the pits in 
the ruins in the district, but the only discovery he 
made was a small inscription on a stone in one of 
the tunnels. It was sent to Vienna, but no one 
has been able to decipher it. My own idea is that 
it was a hoax. We travelled through quickly to 
Salisbury after Rhodes had had two or three days' 
discussion with Sir Alfred Milner. We had to 
leave one of our Matabele servants behind, as there 
was not room for him on the coach ; and he was 
terrified out of his wits, as in IiO Bengula's days he 
had been down raiding the Mashonas in this part 
of the country, so he was fearful of being recog- 
nized and slaughtered by some of his old friends. 
To my surprise, when our coach drove up to 
Government House in Salisbury, the boy was 
seated on the doorstep, having left Umtali at the 
same time as we did, and travelled the whole dis- 
tance (150 miles) on foot in two days and one 
night. At Salisbury Rhodes was again besieged 
by callers and suppliants of all sorts, but he was not 
quite so free with his purse-strings this time, as he 
thought he had somewhat " outrun the constable." 

184 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

I had an amusing experience here. A circus had 
arrived and was performing nightly, and the pro- 
prietor came up and asked for Mr. Rhodes's patron- 
age. I saw " the Old Man," and he agreed to go 
the following night at eight o'clock. At dinner 
the next night he had two or three guests, and I 
reminded him of his engagement at eight, which 
the clock was just striking. " Oh," said he, " 1 
feel too ill to go out. You get one or two friends 
and go down." I hurriedly got a friend, and we 
arrived at the circus a quarter of an hour late. 
The show had been kept waiting, but at the tent 
entrance I saw the anxious face of the proprietor. 
As soon as he saw me, he concluded that Rhodes 
had arrived, and hurried off; and as I walked into 
the royal box, which had been profusely decorated 
with Union Jacks, the audience rose like one man, 
and the orchestra burst into the strains of the 
" National Anthem." The proprietor may have 
been frantic, but I merely bowed my acknowledg- 
ments, at which the cheering was louder than ever. 
However, I don't crave for a second experience 
of the same sort, and, anyhow, I am not sure now 
whether I, the audience, or the orchestra was guilty 
of lese-majeste, 

Christmas 1897 Rhodes spent at the Jesuit 
Mission Station at Chishawasha, and returned 
highly pleased with all he had seen there. I did 
not accompany him, as I was down with my first 
attack of fever ; nor was I encouraged by one of 
the boys remarking after he had peered at me for 
a minute or two over the bed-rails, " Yah, when 
the sun dies you will be finish too ! " 

1898] GWEI.O AGAIN 185 

Another boy came in to me here in a state of 
great indignation, and showed me half a loaf of 
bread which he said " the Old Man " had given him 
as a Christmas-box. He was most dissatisfied, and 
said he went in and asked for a Christmas-box 
while Rhodes was at breakfast, and that Rhodes 
had handed to him the first thing that came to 
hand — the half-loaf of bread — and said, " I gif 
John Christmas-bokesi. Wat you tink, Metcalfe ? " 
repeating the latter as he had so often heard 
Rhodes say it. 

Rhodes was anxious to get away, and the date 
of our departure was kept very quiet — in fact, I 
only engaged the special coach the night before we 
left. He fixed on the morning of December 31 
(for which night he had accepted an invitation 
to a fancy-dress ball), and I therefore made all 
sorts of reckless engagements and appointments 
for the first week in the New Year, and at day- 
light we set off for the south, Sir Charles Metcalfe 
accompanying us. £125 was charged in those 
days for a special coach from Salisbury to Bulawayo 
— about three hundred miles. About forty miles 
from Gwelo we passed a small police outpost, and 
two troopers were waiting for the coach ; one of 
them was bad with fever and wanted to go to 
Gwelo Hospital. " By all means put him in the 
coach," said Rhodes. He then gave the other 
troopers some books and papers. I climbed to 
the top of the coach, which was not pleasant, as it 
was pouring with rain, and I had to use Tony as a 
shelter — my mackintosh having gone the way of 
all my kit — given away by Rhodes to some native 

186 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

— and we started off. Not far from Gwelo we got 
stuck in a vlei, and everything had to be off-loaded 
from the coach while we, except the sick trooper, 
tramped to a wayside store, luckily only a mile off. 
We arrived at Gwelo late at night, and drove 
straight to the hospital, where we deposited the 
trooper, and then on to the house of the Civil 
Commissioner, where we spent the night. I heard 
afterwards that the trooper died four days later. 
At Salisbury Rhodes advanced one of the boys 
(John Malema— some of the older hands in 
Rhodesia will remember him) £10, as he wanted 
him to go to Groote Schuur. I knew Malema 
lived near Gwelo, and, as I was sure he never 
intended to go south, I took the precaution of 
locking him in the woodshed that night — nailing 
up the door. He managed to break out during 
the night, and I have not seen him since. 

We were early away next morning, and about 
three in the afternoon we saw, from the top of the 
coach, a small herd of Tsessebe antelope lying down 
on and about the road. Sir Charles Metcalfe had 
a shot, but missed, and they went off and stood in 
a small clump of trees, which one could easily 
get up to by keeping under a razor-back ridge. 
Rhodes asked me to go after them, and I took the 
old coach-driver's Martini-Henry -450, as 1 had 
given my own rifles to Jack Grimmer. I had not 
gone two hundred yards ere I saw the coach start 
off with a crack of the whip that frightened the 
Tsessebe away. I ran about five hundred yards 
across the veld to try and intercept the coach, but 
it passed about a hundred yards off, both Rhodes 


and Sir Charles Metcalfe shrieking with laughter. 
I had no fancy for being left in the veld, and felt 
like shooting one of the leading mules, when I saw 
the coach stables and store about a mile off, and 
let them go on, taking a short cut across a bend 
in the road. Rhodes only said I was a fool for 
following the buck, as surely I didn't expect to hit 
anything with *' that old blunderbuss." 1 showed 
him he was wrong though, as the same afternoon I 
knocked over a running jackal with it from the 
top of the coach at three hundred yards. When 
we neared the Bembezi, about twenty-five miles 
from Bulawayo, a zebra came cantering up to us, 
and ran alongside the mules right up to near N'taba 
'Zinduna, and then cantered off as we approached 
the store. 

We did not remain long at Bulawayo, and 
Rhodes spent most of his time, as before, at 
the Matoppo Farm. He had a meeting with the 
Chambers of Mines and Commerce on the subject 
of in-transit rates, and was in constant telegraphic 
communication with Sir James Sivewright, Com- 
missioner of Railways and Public Works at Cape 
Town, on the subject. He determined to go to 
Cape Town as soon as possible, as much to settle 
this matter as anything. One afternoon he came 
home in a more or less vile temper, and I told 
him that a member of the Chamber of Commerce 
had called to represent that goods intended for 
Bechuanaland could take advantage of the in-transit 
rate as far as the first station on the Rhodesia rail- 
way-line beyond the terminus of the Cape line 
(Maf eking), and then by training back at the 

188 THROUGH RHODESIA IN 1897-98 [ch. viii 

ordinary rate make a considerable saving on what 
they would pay if they forwarded direct at the 
ordinary rate. I had hardly concluded when he 
snapped out, " Well, didn't you tell him the 
remedy ? Of course you didn't : tell him that 
we shall charge £10 a ton a mile for manufactured 
goods coming down country across the border. 
Go and tell him now." Then he went and threw 
himself on my bed and snorted. It was in this 
faculty for instantly grasping a situation and apply- 
ing the remedy that he excelled. 

The De Beers' travelling-car had been sent up 
for him in charge of the little Swiss steward, 
" Karl," and arrived after having been more or less 
looted by some enterprising sportsmen at Palapye 
under pretence of examining the " fire-boxes in the 
refrigerator," (I) which contained a supply of liquor 
of all sorts. (Palapye being in tea-drinking Khama's 
country, the importation into which of any kind of 
alcoholic liquor is strictly prohibited, there were 
many thirsty souls there who thought the oppor- 
tunity too good to be thrown away.) 

On our journey south Sir Charles Metcalfe was 
on the train, Mr. Hoyle the Traffic Manager, and 
later on Mr. Julius Weil. On the day on which 
we were due in Kimberley Rhodes bet Mr. Weil 
£5 that we would get into Kimberley station 
before 7 p.m. I got on to the tender and hustled the 
driver, promising him £5 if he got in before seven, 
and he made that engine go at a pace that no other 
did on that line before, and I doubt if any since. 
It was a light train — only the engine and tender, 
then a bogie-truck, then the De Beers' car, another 

1898] A LOST BET 189 

bogie-truck, and a guard's-van. It came on to rain 
heavily, which delayed us a lot — in fact, ascending 
the river-bank at Fourteen Streams we literally 
ploughed through water rushing down, and the 
line at Windsorton was under a good eighteen inches 
of water. The excitement grew quite intense as we 
neared Kimberley, and at a few minutes to seven 
we were racing along past the floors,^ and Rhodes 
felt his bet won ; but the train slowed down with a 
jerk or two as the vacuum-brakes were applied, and 
at two minutes to seven the train drew up and 
stopped just outside Kimberley station. Rhodes 
had lost his bet. The driver got his five-pound 
note, but I am afraid that Julius Weil never did. 
After a couple of days in Kimberley we went on 
to the Cape, where arrived, Rhodes went straight 
out to Groote Schuur, and I went on to Cape 
Town to see Sir James Sivewright and bring him 
up to Groote Schuur to discuss the in-transit rate. 
So, no sooner was his little holiday of two days in 
the train over, than Rhodes was in harness again 
without waste of a minute. 

^ Floors — large open paddocks enclosed by high barbed-wire fences, 
where the hard diamondiferous rock is spread out to *' weather," in 
course of which it softens, and is then treated and put through the 
pulsator. Strange to say, diamonds are seldom or never picked up on 
the floors. 



Wherever Rhodes went he had a secretary with 
him, who was admitted to his fullest confidence, 
and to whom he left a very free hand. He 
collected a sort of bodyguard of young men in 
whom he was interested, and who were chosen on 
account of various and varied qualifications. 

Those most closely connected with him at 
different times were Neville Pickering, Harry 
Currey, R. T. ("Bob") Coryndon, John R. 
Grimmer (" Jack "), Harry Palk, PhiHp 
(**Flippie") Jourdan, and myself. Of these only 
Palk was born out of South Africa. 

We were all much more companions than 
secretaries in the ordinary sense of the word. 

Philip Jourdan was perhaps the nearest approach 
to the accepted idea of a private secretary, as he 
wrote shorthand (an accomplishment the rest of 
us regarded with a sort of awe), and, being rather 
delicate, his habits were more sedentary than those 
of ours. 

I hardly count Dr. Rutherfoord Harris as a 
private secretary, as his office w^as more official than 
otherwise ; but in his day no one was more in 


Gordon le Sueur, F.R.G.S., the Author. 


1892-8] THE "QUEENSTOWN GANG'^ 191 

Rhodes's confidence than he, from the inception 
of the Charter until he blossomed out into a big 
financier, a promoter and director of tramway 
companies and a member of the Imperial Parlia- 
ment, with a castle in Wales. He was a man of 
great capacity, exceedingly shrewd and a staunch 
friend, but an implacable enemy. He was severely 
heckled when he gave his evidence before the Raid 

Sir William Milton was for a considerable time 
Rhodes's official secretary, when the latter was 
Premier of the Cape, and Rhodes justly thought 
very highly of his abilities. He brought Sir 
William to Rhodesia first as chief secretary to 
the Administrator, Lord Grey, just after the Raid. 
When Lord Grey retired, the office of Adminis- 
trator was split up, and Sir William was appointed 
Senior Administrator at Salisbury, Sir Arthur 
Lawley filling the office of Deputy at Bulawayo. 
On the abolition of the latter office Sir William 
was appointed sole Administrator over both pro- 

There were others of those whom he called 
his '* young men," and in whose careers he 
took an interest, such as E. Law Brailsford and 
J. G. McDonald ; and there were the members 
of what he called the " Queenstown Gang," 
including Percy Ross, Harry Huntley, the four 
brothers Fynn, and others, who were all farmers 
and hailed frori> Queenstown, Cape Colony, or 

In his younger days at Kimberley Rhodes was 
on terms of particular friendship with three families 


— the Pickerings, the Curreys, and that of Dr. 
Grimmer, and the early friendships he never 
forgot. One of the Pickerings, WiUiam, became 
secretary and afterwards a director of De Beers, 
while Rhodes made Neville, another son, his 
private secretary. He was much attached to him, 
and on his death at Kimberley he had his body 
sent by special train to Port Elizabeth for burial. 
By his second will he bequeathed his wealth to 
Neville Pickering for use in terms of instructions 
he had given him. 

Harry Currey, a barrister by profession, is the 
son of J. B. Currey, by whom Rhodes was be- 
friended in Kimberley. He acted as secretary to 
the Consolidated Gold Fields in Johannesburg, but 
became dissatisfied, and resumed practice at the 
Cape Bar. He developed into a strong supporter 
of the Bond Party and a worshipper of John X. 
Merriman in opposition to Rhodes, and became 
later a member of the Cape Assembly. 

His father, J. B. Currey, Rhodes made his agent 
at Groote Schuur, and built a house, " Welgelegen," 
for him on the estate, and there he lived with his 
family until his death. 

R. T. Coryndon was the son of another old 
Kimberley friend, Selby Coryndon, and he came 
up to Rhodesia as one of " Rhodes 's lambs," 
which was the name given to about a dozen young 
fellows who came up from Kimberley in the early 
days. Coryndon and Grimmer were the only 
two left when Rhodes came across them in 1896. 
Rhodes then attached Coryndon to the " body- 
guard," and he accompanied him to England. 

1896] "BOB" CORYNDON 193 

To Bob Coryndon, who has always been a 
mighty hunter, belongs the distinction of having 
shot one of the few remaining white rhinoceri. 
He was commissioned by the Hon. Walter 
Rothschild to get one for his museum, and 
succeeded. Shortly afterwards Rhodes asked him 
whether he would get one for the Cape Town 
Museum, and was petrified at Coryndon's ill- 
advised reply, "Lord Rothschild paid me £400 
to get one." He often referred to it. 

When in London, Rhodes, Coryndon, and 
Grimmer used to ride every morning in the Park, and 
were often accompanied by friends, amongst them 
a distinguished heiress. Referring to her one day, 
Rhodes said, "She used to ride with me in the 
Park in the morning, and, d'you know, Coryndon 
thought she came to see him. Of course she 
didn't. She came to see me.'' 

On the completion of a treaty with Lewanika, 
king of Barotseland, now known as North-Western 
Rhodesia, Coryndon was sent up as representative 
of the Chartered Company, and was afterwards 
appointed Administrator with the rank of major. 
He w^as exceedingly successful in handling his 
natives, and has since been appointed Admini- 
strator of Swaziland under the British Colonial 
Office. He, too, was more of a big-game hunter 
than a secretary. 

Towards "Jack" Grimmer Rhodes, perhaps, 
showed as much affection as to any one. He was 
one of a large family, sons and daughters of Dr. 
Grimmer of Barkly West, who died during the 
siege of Kimberley. 

194 RHODES AND HIS " YOUNG MEN " [ch. ix 

Rhodes never forgot his early friendship with 
the Grimmers, and one now holds the important 
post of secretary to De Beers ; and he also did a 
great deal for the Langes, one of whom married a 
Miss Grimmer. 

E. Lange accompanied Rhodes through Masho- 
naland in 1891, and was subsequently placed in 
charge of " Nooitgedacht," one of the finest of the 
Rhodes fruit-farms. 

Jack Grimmer, another of *' Rhodes's lambs," 
first interviewed Rhodes when he was quite a 
youngster, and asked him to be allowed to join 
the column of occupation of Mashonaland. He 
was then a junior clerk in De Beers, but, somehow, 
generally rode or drove the best horse in Kim- 
berley. " No," replied Rhodes, " I only want men 
with beards." 

Jack Grimmer, then having come up with 
" the lambs," joined the police, and went through 
the 1893 Matabele War, and was, with Coryndon, 
attached to Rhodes's " bodyguard " in Mashona- 
land in 1896. Rhodes used to say that Grimmer 
was the only man he was afraid of, and it is equally 
certain that Grimmer was by no means afraid of 
him — in fact, to see them together one might 
have come to the conclusion that Rhodes was in 
charge of a keeper. Grimmer was anything but 
an ordinary secretary. His method of dealing 
with letters was characteristic. I remember one 
man writing to ask if a vacancy had occurred since 
his previous application for an appointment, the 
reply to which he enclosed. This reply he had 
received from Grimmer, and was written on a torn 

1896] "JACK'' GRIMMER 195 

half-sheet of paper (Grimmer did not believe in 
wasting stationery), and read simply : 

** Dear Sir, 

" In reply to your application Mr. Rhodes 
says no. 

" Yours faithfully, 

"John R. Grimmer." 

Rhodes delighted in rousing Grimmer's temper, 
but usually got some one else to try and annoy 
him. He would chuckle with glee when he found 
Grimmer crossed in anything, and often would 
pretend to be in a violent rage, but without leaving 
the least impression on Grimmer. He simply 
maintained an imperturbable smile. On one 
occasion Grimmer was sitting reading a newspaper, 
which he held before his face, and Rhodes, more 
to annoy him than anything else, called him, but 
Grimmer took no notice. Then Rhodes called out 
again, adding, " I want you to write a letter for 
me." Grimmer lowered his paper, and said, " Let 
le Sueur do it — I'm busy " ; and went on with his 
newspaper. Clearly nothing could be done in such 
a case. 

When Rhodes went home for . the Raid In- 
quiry, he took Bob Coryndon and Jack Grimmer 
with him, " and, d'you know," he afterwards said 
to me, " Grimmer never showed the slightest 
interest in the inquiry. He never came into the 
committee-room." He presented Grimmer with 
his photograph, on the back of which he wrote 
" Your Baas,' C. J. Rhodes." 

^ Dutch— "master." 

196 RHODES AND HIS "YOUNG MEN'' [ch. ix 

On one trip by wagonette from Salisbury to 
Umtali Rhodes invited Grimmer and me each 
to read Plato's ** Symposium " and then give him 
our ideas thereon. Grimmer 's only comment was, 
" A lot of damned rot I " and turning over he 
went off to sleep. " Ha, ha," said Rhodes, " we can 
take Grimmer as quite a good example. The 
tractable horse referred to by Socrates is like 
Grimmer walking in a garden with a nice girl 
and picking roses and shyly giving them to her, 
and making pretty speeches ; then there is the 
other unruly animal, which is Grimmer with the 
lady on the summer-house seat, and that's a very 
different picture." 

When he felt ill, it was Grimmer he wanted 
with him — in fact, he evinced more pleasure in 
Grimmer's companionship than in any other. 

Although Grimmer was undemonstrative and 
phlegmatic, he was devoted to Rhodes and capable 
of any sacrifice in his interests. He appeared to 
look on Rhodes as a great baby, incapable of being 
left to himself, and it was amusing to hear Grimmer 
lecture him on his neglect of precaution in the 
interests of his health. He cared nothing for 
politics, nor to identify himself with Rhodes 's 
creations ; he was just a sterling, big-hearted, loyal 
friend, deeply attached to " the Old Man," and 
inspired by the very highest motives, unsullied by 
a mercenary thought, or swayed by the hope of self- 

That Rhodes appreciated his qualities and devo- 
tion is evidenced by the fact that he left him 
£10,000 in his will, together with the use of the 


Inyanga farms for life, besides making him many- 
valuable gifts during lifetime. 

Grimmer went up to Inyanga in 1897 to 
take charge of the Inyanga farms after he had 
returned from England from attending the Raid 

Jourdan had recently joined Rhodes as confi- 
dential secretary. He had, like myself, been in 
the Cape Civil Service, and while I was in the 
Colonial Office he was attached to the Prime 
Minister's, which was then a department of the 
Colonial Office. Jourdan has related his ex- 
periences in his work, and he was perhaps longer 
with Rhodes at one spell than any one else. 

I replaced him at the beginning of June 1897, 
and he went on a voyage to the Canary Islands in 
search of health. To him, too, Rhodes left £10,000 
— not in his will, but by instruction to his trustees, 
to whom he gave a free hand in the disposal of his 

Grimmer did not live long to enjoy his legacy, 
as, at Bulawayo at the time of the funeral, 
April 1902, he was taken ill with fever, and on 
our return to the Cape he went to Muizenberg, 
which he left for Caledon at the end of May. 
Blackwater fever suddenly attacked him there. 
I was wired for, and arrived the day before his 
death, which took place on June 5, a little over 
two months after Rhodes. 

Rhodes did not pay his secretaries exorbitant 
salaries ; but then we had little or no expense, as 
we lived and travelled with him ; he provided horses, 
and in London he went so far as to pay our tailors' 

198 RHODES AND HIS " YOUNG MEN '' [cH. ix 

bills and supply the cost of theatres, dinners, and so 
on, and told me to get any books I wanted from 
Hatchard & Co., Piccadilly. 

On my proceeding to England with him in 1898, 
I had to get a complete outfit, as I had returned 
from Rhodesia with practically the clothes I stood 
up in, as he had a miserable habit, when he wished to 
make one of the natives a present, of going to my 
kit-bags and presenting the favoured one with the 
first things that came to hand. I suppose that a 
dress-coat of mine is now adorning the favourite 
wife of some Mashona warrior. Even my rugs 
and blankets went, and on the veld he and I had 
to share a big sheepskin kaross of his. 

On arrival in London, therefore, I had to follow 
the colonial custom of buying a silk hat and an 
overcoat " off the peg," which would cover one 
until clothes could be made. Having to replace 
everything, my tailor's bill was naturally heavy, 
and when presented to Rhodes he was a bit startled, 
and got Jourdan to make and send me a copy of it, 
on which he wrote the laconic remark : 




As to ordinary expenses he kept no account, but 
when I required money I would draw a cheque 

1 897] LOOSE MONEY 199 

from him and tell him when it was exhausted. He 
seldom or never carried any money himself, but if 
he were going out he would sometimes ask for 
a five-pound note, which was as often as not 
found crumpled up in his overcoat pocket the 
next day. 

This was an old outstanding habit of his, as when 
he was about to start off from Kimberley to the 
Cape, to take his seat in the House of Assembly, 
in 1881, he suddenly discovered that he had no 
money, and there was a hasty emptying of pockets 
by his friends, who had come to see him off, to 
provide the necessary funds for his journey to the 

When I lost money to him at bridge, he would 
demand to be paid by cheque, for he would say, 
*' If you give me cash, I know you're only giving 
me my own money." Needless to say, these 
cheques were never cashed. We often had bets, 
too, especially at a shoot, on the number of head 
we would respectively kill, and if he won he would 
demand instant payment. 

Whoever was with him as secretary was in his 
fullest confidence, and he expressed his thoughts on 
men and events in the freest manner. 

He had a habit of riding with one at a walking 
pace without uttering a word for hours, and then 
he would come out with a remark which often 
gave one a clue to what had been occupying his 

Riding to the Matoppos one day at the usual 
four miles an hour, he had not said a word for two 
hours, when he suddenly remarked, "Well, le Sueur, 

200 RHODES AND HIS " YOUNG MEN " [ch. ix 

there is one thing I hope for you, and that is, that 
while still a young man you may never have every- 
thing you want." I merely answered that the 
possibility of that was very remote. Disregarding 
the interruption, he went on : " Take myself, for 
instance : I am not an old man, and I don't think 
there is anything I want. I have been Prime 
Minister of the Cape, there is De Beers and the 
railways, and there is a big country called after me, 
and I have more money than I can spend." You 
might ask, " But wouldn't you like to be Prime 
Minister again ? " ** Well, I answer you very 
fairly — 1 should take it if it were offered to me, 
but I certainly don't crave for it." 

Harry Palk first attracted Rhodes by his com- 
mand of language. Palk was an officer on one of 
the Union-Castle steamers, and the boat conveying 
Rhodes was a long time in getting alongside, and 
Palk was at the head of the gangway. He in- 
quired with much profanity why the ship was kept 
waiting. He received a reply in tones of awe that 
the boat had waited for Mr. Rhodes. Palk then 
rapped out with a string of expletives that he did 
not care a ha'porth who it was, but that the ship 
was to be kept for no one. 

Rhodes was highly interested in this emphatic 
young man, and so he became one of the " body- 
guard." He sent him to stay with Mr. W. T. 
Stead, who chose literature for him, saw to his 
taking exercise (rowing on the Thames chiefly), 
and saw that he learned shorthand. He joined 
Rhodes as private secretary and accompanied him 
to Rhodesia. Before leaving, however, he married. 


and at Salisbury one day he told Rhodes that he 
had to go down country, as his wife was about 
to give birth to a child. Rhodes was extremely 
annoyed, and really never forgave Palk. 

In after-years he said, speaking of him, " Imagine 
his leaving me alone at Salisbury with no one to do 
my letters, just because his wife was going to have 
a baby. Why didn't he tell me before he left? 
He must have known, mustn't he ? You ought to 
know," turning to a lady sitting next to him, to her 
obvious embarrassment, she having a large family 
of sons and daughters. 

After Rhodes's arrival at Bulawayo in 1897, 
Miss Flora Shaw (Lady Lugard) wrote and asked 
him if he did not think it was time he had a real 
secretary, and recommended a young friend of hers, 
whom she wished to send out. She asked him to 
simply cable " Yes or No," and Rhodes handed the 
letter back to me after I had shown it to him, 
saying, " You'd better answer this." 

" Really," he once said at Inyanga to Grimmer 
and me, " I must get a proper secretary — one who 
will treat me with proper respect and call me 
* sir.'" We immediately " sirred " him about every 
five words until he was heartily sick of it. 

He always thought very highly of the late 
Edmund Garrett, who was, for some years, editor 
of " The Cape Times " and a journalist of remark- 
able brilliance. 

Rhodes regarded him with much real affection, 
though they often had noble rows, for Garrett was 
nothing if not independent. 

It was amusing sometimes to see Rhodes's look 


of dismay as he scanned one of Garrett's leaders, 
which was diametrically opposed to Rhodes's 
suggestions to him. 

Rhodes had a habit of conveniently mislaying 
papers and then calling upon me to produce 
them, which it was as much as my life was 
worth to do. 

On one occasion he had carefully hidden away 
in his bedroom some papers relating to De Beers, 
just before three of the directors came down to 
Groote Schuur to consult him on the matter the 
papers dealt with instead of his going to Kimberley. 
He severely reprimanded me before them all at 
breakfast for failing to find the papers, which he 
said he did not remember ever having seen ! 
While they were all wondering what made Rhodes 
stand such carelessness in his secretary, the papers 
were opportunely produced and brought to me by 
his valet, who said, with a broad grin on his face, 
he had found the unopened envelope between the 
seat and back of one of the chairs. 

Shortly afterwards Rhodes came into my office, 
where I was sitting, feeling rather sore, and pinching 
my ear in his Napoleonic manner, with his well- 
known little whine he said, " We — e — el, and what 
are you going to do to-day ? D'you want any 
money ? " 

This was with him a great panacea for our ills. 

We often had arguments and stand-up rows, and 
his great expression was, when he felt his temper 
going, " Now let's talk this over quietly. Don't 
lose your temper. Keep calm — keep perfectly 

1 897] "D'YOU WANT ANY MONEY?" 203 

After a stormy scene he would seek me out, 
especially if he felt that he had not been perfectly 
fair, and in an awkward manner want to know 
what one had been doing, and pretend to take an 
interest in the letters one was writing, and ex- 
hibited this by opening one or two that lay ready 
addressed for the post. Then he'd say, " How are 
you off for money ? D'you want any ? " On one 
occasion at the Cape he had severely blown 
Grimmer and me up, and we pretended to sulk 
(sulkiness he could not stand), and before dinner 
he came in to where we sat dejectedly in the 
smoking-room. *' I'm going out to dinner," he 
said. " What are you going to do ? " 

" Oh, nothing," said we. 

" Why don't you go to the theatre ? " he 
went on. 

" We don't want to go ; besides, we can't afford 
theatres," said Grimmer with a sigh. Rhodes went 
straight off to the office, and, returning with a 
cheque for £50, said, " Here, you'd better take 
some friends to dinner and the theatre." 

His memory was remarkable, but he received 
undue credit for some feats of memory — e,g. 
when a young fellow was seen approaching the 
camp, of whom he had not the faintest recollec- 
tion, and he would turn to Grimmer and myself 
and say, " Who's this ? " One of us would quickly 
explain, ** Oh, that's the young policeman at Fort 
Gibbs who wanted a transfer," or whatever it was ; 
and as the youngster came up Rhodes would say, 
" Well, and do you like the Police any better since 
I last saw you at Fort Gibbs ? " and leave the 


young man as pleased as possible at Rhodes's 
recollecting him. 

Rhodes first met J. G. McDonald when he 
went to have a look at the Ayrshire Mine with 
Dr. Hans Sauer. McDonald was in charge, and 
the story goes that he wanted to know Rhodes's 
business when he met him wandering about. I am 
not sure that, in ignorance of his identity, he did 
.not order him off the property. Anyhow, if he 
did, it was just the sort of thing to please " the 
Old Man," and he was distinctly taken by the 
strenuous " Mac," and he afterwards made him 
manager of the Consolidated Gold Fields of South 
Africa at Bulawayo, and also gave him charge of 
all his local affairs, farms, etc., in Rhodesia. 

E. Law Brailsford had been a magistrate in the 
Cape Colony, and had been stationed in Rhodes's 
old constituency, Barkly West. He had always 
been distinguished by independence of spirit and 
a splendid disregard of the opinions of others and 
les co7ivenances as well. 

Although a civil servant, and therefore debarred 
from active politics, Brailsford did not find the 
Civil Service regulations much of a deterrent in 
his strenuous support of Rhodes's candidature. 
" A magistrate should be a political eunuch, but in 
your case, Brailsford, I'm afraid the operation was 
unsuccessful," said Rhodes to him once. 

Brailsford, a sound and capable lawyer, and 
possessed of excellent judgment, is, like many 
others having these qualities, slow to advance an 
opinion. " Brailsford has plenty of ideas," said 
Rhodes of him, '* but you have to get them out 

1 897] *NEW CHUMS'' 205 

with a fine tooth-comb." When the magistracy of 
SaHsbury became vacant (1898 I think), Rhodes 
strongly advised Brailsford's appointment. " I 
am sending a really good man," Rhodes wrote. 
" This is not a question of finding a billet for 
anybody, but he is the right man for the post. 
I want Jour dan with me and le Sueur is too 

The " Queenstown Gang " were all farmers, and 
were nearly all related to one another. Rhodes 
settled Harry Huntley on a farm in the Matoppos, 
put Percy Ross on to his own farm, while the 
Fynns settled at the Bembezi near Bulawayo. 

Any youngster who was sent to Rhodes by a 
friend, and who wanted to start farming, was sent 
to Rhodes's farm and to Ross to be taken care of. 
The bodyguard used to forgather at the huts, and 
no happier times could have been spent than out 

Of course, we had a lot of fun out of the '* new 
chums " ; one came out from a very exalted person- 
age (his people used to farm near Balmoral, and he 
was very, very Scotch). It was the middle of the 
wet season, and Ross advised him to start plough- 
ing in the heavy black vlei soil below the huts. 
We used to watch him from the top of the kopje 
struggUng through the mud with the plough and 
eighteen oxen. He stood it for nearly three days, 
and then went down with fever and exhaustion. 
We all went that evening and had a look at him 
where he lay in a hut, and Ross took a tape- 
measure out of his pocket and began solemnly 
to measure him. 

206 RHODES AND HIS " YOUNG MEN " [ch. ix 

" Whit are ye dae'in ? " asked the Scot. " Oh, 
all right — keep quiet," said Ross ; " I'm only 
measuring you for your coffin, in case you die." 

This nearly terrified the Scot out of his wits, and 
in a day or two, when he had recovered, he started 
packing up, and said, in broad Scots, " No, no I 
I'm going back to Scotland far from here, and I'm 
going to take a small farm and a wee wifie, and I'll 
not come back to this awful country." 

And he left. 

Another budding beef king came out, and the 
day after he arrived Ross said he'd better take 
charge of the game. (There was a number of 
antelope waiting to be sent down to Groote 
Schuur.) They were half tame, and had halters on 
with long riems,^ by which they might be caught 
if they escaped from their stalls. The new chum 
thought he'd like that, and Ross said he'd better 
start next morning and take the water-buck out to 
graze. (This water-buck was the wildest of all.) 
We all assembled early to see the young man take 
his charge out. He went into the stall, which was 
in a stable standing in a forty-acre fenced paddock, 
and presently out came the water-buck with the 
new chum hanging on to the end of the riem 
attached to the halter. The buck went straight 
across the paddock at about the rate of an express 
train, and the youngster was touching ground about 
every twenty yards. He, too, went in search of a 
more peaceful occupation than farming. 

Ross once advertised for a ploughman, and a few 
days later about eight foot of Dutchman applied. 

^ liiem— rawhide lariat. 

1 897] TAKEN ON TRUST 207 

Ross had a look at him, and then said, " Can 
you fight ? " " No," said the Dutchman, " 1 can't 
fight ; but I didn't thought I was got to fight ; I 
think I was coming for the ploughing." " No, no — 
that's all right," said Ross ; " but I don't want any 
fighting man, because one of these days I may have 
to chase you oiFthe farm." 

A few days later we saw the Dutchman 
sprinting towards Bulawayo and Ross after him 
with a sjambok. 

My Personal Relations 

Rhodes always treated me with the greatest 
kindness and consideration. He did like having 
young men about him, and liked analysing them. 
" Oh, 1 can read you like a book," he often said 
to me. 

When he selected me to go up with him, he was 
taking me on chance, for he knew no more about 
me from his own knowledge than he would about 
any other junior in the office, and even then I was 
under a different ministerial head. 

I was more or less inexperienced, and probably 
in a fair way to getting into a groove, which is the 
fate of many civil servants. True, I had done well 
at my old college, the Diocesan at Rondebosch, had 
headed the list in the Civil Service entrance examina- 
tion, and had qualified in law; but having had 
a more or less " home-keeping youth " I might 
reasonably be expected to have but " homely wit." 
He took me on trust, however, just as he did often 
take men on trust, and in whom he was almost as 

208 RHODES AND HIS '^ YOUNG MEN " [ch. ix 

often grievously disappointed. For Rhodes was 
not a good judge of men on first sight. 

After I had been with him for a few weeks, we 
were riding in the Matoppos and met Colonel 
Harry White ; and after we had talked for a while 
Rhodes turned to Harry White, and smilingly said, 
" Well, don't you think he has expanded ? " 

He was built of that metal himself — the sterling 
metal of those qualities which, even on first acquaint- 
ance with a man, rings true. If one went into a 
room full of people, when Rhodes was present, one 
would be immediately impressed by his personality, 
and having once heard him express himself would 
eagerly await his next utterances. 

Qua myself, I can only say that I was much 
attracted by him from the time of our first real 
meeting, and I somehow instinctively realized that 
he had adopted an artificial manner, and that the 
man who spoke to me was not the real Rhodes. 

Nor was I wrong ; the man who spoke with the 
heart of Cecil Rhodes, as I got to know him, was 
the man who wrote, " 1 am so sorry for all your 
troubles," and that was the keynote of all Cecil 
Rhodes's feeling towards his fellow-creatures — were 
they white or coloured, rich or poor, elevated or 
debased, culpable or unoffending. He had a 
yearning sympathy with them in their troubles, 
and an overwhelming desire to be of assistance to 
them, and it is therefore I can sum up Rhodes's 
religion in his own words: "An effort for the 
betterment of one's fellow-beings " ; and he did, 
as thousands can testify to-day, practise it in the 
alleviation of suffering whithersoever he went. 


It is a simple enough matter for any one to say 
that he held another in esteem because he acted in 
loco parentis to him, as far as providing him with 
the necessaries and luxuries of life were concerned, 
always bearing in mind the fact that to the 
dispenser of these favours the material cost was a 
negligible quantity. 

But it was when Rhodes came to one and evinced 
even a pretended interest in one's affairs that one 
felt most attracted by him. 

Often one felt, could not help feeling, that one's 
little troubles could hold no real interest for him, 
knowing that there were matters of moment which 
should be occupying his mind at the time, and 
therefore, when he, with every sign of genuine 
personal interest and concern, ^ave one evidence 
that he was sympathetically affected one could not 
help being stirred by an appreciative thrill. 

How often, even when one's progress in life is 
exciting the envy of thousands of one's fellow- 
beings, how often do not there come occasions 
when one's heart is sick and tired and one feels 
the solid support of faith and confidence slipping 
from one ? In such moments one could, without 
hesitation, turn to Rhodes, who, with no use for 
explanations, would by natural intuition discern 
one's trouble and diagnose one's complaint, and 
without mawkish sentiment or sacrifice of dignity 
re-imbue one with the essentials for a fresh per- 

And it was the absolute unquestioning con- 
fidence that Rhodes placed in the men whom he 
selected for the privilege of assisting in his work 


that made one in turn unhesitatingly follow him 
with blind trust, yielding him service and con- 
fidently entrusting him with all one's afiPairs, secure 
in the knowledge that " Rhodes will see everything 
put right." 

When Rhodes was ill, he often alternated 
between periods of peevishness, fretfulness, and loss 
of temper and periods of despondency ; and it was 
during the latter, when he used to ask one to sit by 
him and hold his hand, or place one's hand upon 
his fevered forehead, that one's feeling was perhaps 
most stirred by him ; and one had a peculiar 
sensation as of an inclination to shield and pro- 
tect him. 

He was fond of making cutting remarks and 
indulging in sarcasm, and really I beheve he spent 
some time in thinking out something he could say 
that was likely to hurt one's feelings or annoy one. 
I, with Grimmer, who was perhaps allowed more 
latitude in his manner towards him than any one 
of the " bodyguard," soon got to know that he 
meant nothing by his most cutting remarks, and 
that he was only trying to draw one, and we used 
to retaliate by going off into fits of laughter, which 
generally made him very angry, and he would glare 
at one with a stony stare and then go off with a 
grim smile playing about his features. 

I have spoken of the circumstances under which 
I joined him and of my journey through Rhodesia 
with him up to the time of our return to Groote 
Schuur. While here at this time I received an 
offer of appointment as private secretary to Mr. 
Harry Escombe, Prime Minister of Natal. I 

1898] IN ENGLAND 211 

immediately told Rhodes of it, and he said, " Well, 
you'd better take it. You'll do much better with 
him than in anything I intend to offer you." I 
decided against his judgment, however. 

We sailed for England on the " Tantallon Castle " 
on March 17, 1898. I spent most of my time on 
this, my first, voyage to England, translating some 
Dutch newspapers which Adriaan Hofmeyr had 
given Rhodes, but which translations he never read. 

A number of friends came down to meet Rhodes, 
and we went up to London in the afternoon. On 
the journey up he wanted some tea, and told me to 
call a porter at one of the stations and order a tea- 
basket — " that is," he added, " if you can make him 
understand your English." We went straight up 
to the Burlington Hotel in Cork Street, where he 
always stayed, and that same night he had a 
meeting in his rooms. 

He did not intend to remain long in England, 
and here again he asked me whether I should like 
to go to a university and take a medical degree. 
I declined, as I thought that I was too old. (I 
was twenty-three.) 

Rhodes sailed for the Cape towards the end of 
May, leaving me behind to undergo an operation 
on the ear, and I came out in August. A friend, 
on his return, asked him what the matter was with 
me, and he replied, " Oh, the distractions of London 
were a little too much for him." 

He was then at Kimberley, Jourdan with him, 
and he wired me to go to Bulawayo, where I 
was to take a magistracy ; and, probably with 
the tailor's bill before him and a matter of £60 I 

212 RHODES AND HIS « YOUNG MEN " [ch. ix 

had expended in books, he wrote and said he 
hoped I would " soon once again learn the value 
of a sovereign." 

I went straight through to Bulawayo, and as the 
train only stopped for a few minutes at Kimberley 
I did not stop to see Rhodes, and a few days later 
he wrote to me : 

" Kimberley, 1898. 

" Dear le Sueur, 

" You should have come to see me when you 
passed through. Jourdan told me he had arranged 
with you. You should learn shorthand. I am 
seeing to your appointment. 

" Yours, 

"C. J. Rhodes." 

The arrangement with Jourdan was that we 
should exchange turn and turn about, he going to a 
magistracy at Salisbury, when I replaced him with 

Later in the year I wrote to Rhodes and com- 
plained about my salary, and he wrote me the 
following : 

"Dear le Sueur, 

" I send you £250. See that you pay your 

" Yours, 

" C. J. Rhodes." 

A friend remarked on this afterwards, and 
Rhodes said, " Oh, I spoilt him, and I suppose I've 
got to pay for it." 

In the beginning of 1900 I got a severe attack of 
illness, had spent some weary months in Bulawayo 
Hospital, and had been advised to go down to the 

1898] IN YANG A 218 

Cape for a change after the hne was open. 
Mafeking was relieved on May 17, and just 
previous to that I received the following from 
Rhodes, who was then on his way through the 
country, via Beira and Inyanga : 

"Dear le Sueur, 

" I am so sorry for all your troubles. I hope 
to see you in July. Now just get well and let me 
send you your doctor's bill. 

" Yours truly, 

"C. J. Rhodes." 

Enclosed in the letter was a handsome cheque. 

I did not, however, see him in July, as I left for 
the Cape, and it was not until much later in the 
year that I saw him again on his return to Groote 
Schuur with Jourdan. Fynn, of Kimberley, and 
Jack Grimmer were there at the same time. 

Rhodes had purchased a farm near Cape Town, 
and had some prize stock there. These he pur- 
posed sending to Inyanga, and made a present of 
them to Jack Grimmer. He then suggested that 
I should go up with Grimmer, as he said the high 
veld at Inyanga would suit my health, and he 
had me appointed Native Commissioner and 
Magistrate at Inyanga. He then suggested the site 
where I should build a house and camp, and went 
into every detail as to how the house was to be 
built, the material, the very shape of the window- 
sills. He then gave Grimmer a letter authorizing 
him to take any stock he wanted from De Beers at 
Kimberley, and after giving us each a cheque for 
current expenses we set off with a few truck-loads 


of horses and cattle and two truck-loads of 
thoroughbred Yorkshire pigs. 

We were joined by Major Pieter van Niekerk, 
who did such good service in Rhodesia, and who is 
still at Inyanga. 

At Kimberley we remained for nearly a month, 
and annoyed the De Beers people exceedingly by 
selecting the best of their horses and cattle, and then 
we started off in a special train for Bulawayo, after 
being haled before the Provost Marshal for trying 
to run our train out of Kimberley at 2 a.m. when 
we had been unable to get a permit to proceed. 

At Brussels Siding we were sniped by the 
Boers, on whom we took reprisals after running 
into Vryburg and returning with an armoured train. 

At Mafeking we detrained the cattle (over 
seventy in number) to stretch their legs, and we 
had just corralled the horses, which numbered 
twenty-seven, and w^ere nearly all thoroughbred 
mares, when a frightful hailstorm came on. Hail- 
stones the size of hens' eggs smashed through 
corrugated iron, stripped green fruit, leaves, and 
even the bark off the trees, and of course stampeded 
the cattle, who rushed through the native stad^ 
wdth cyclonic effect. We took cover under a 
railway truck, and when the storm abated horses 
were hastily saddled, but the cattle were not 
rounded up until after four hours' hard riding. 

Entraining again, we went on without mishap, 
except that the pigs ate through the netting which 
covered their open trucks and jumped out all 

^ Stad — Dutch for township, settlement. During the siege Eloff 
got into the stad and burnt it^ and was captured there. 

i90o] I REJOIN RHODES 215 

the way through Bechuanaland, some breaking 
their necks, others their legs, but most of them 
landed safely ; and though we got our rifles out 
and had pot shots at them, the majority got 
away, and I expect by now have established a 
good strain of Yorkshires in Bechuanaland. Of 
the one hundred and twenty we started with only 
forty reached Bulawayo. 

Arrived at Bulawayo, I was detained there to 
try an important case, and Jack Grimmer and van 
Niekerk went on by road. 

None of the horses reached Inyanga, all dying 
of horse-sickness, and only about half the cattle 

My health failing again, Rhodes then sent me to 
England for treatment, and I remained in London 
until he arrived there. 

While here the doctors advised me to go to the 
Continent, and I wrote to Rhodes suggesting 
Constantinople and Budapesth. He replied : 

" My dear le Sueur, 

" I have no doubt that the capitals of 
Europe would greatly benefit by your visiting 
them, but I really don't think they will do your 
health any good. You had better come home. 

" Yours truly, 

" C. J. Rhodes." 

He had rented Sir Robert Menzie's shooting and 
fishing at Rannoch Lodge, and I was looking 
forward to going up about August 12, but to my 
disappointment he informed me that I was to 
remain behind in London. 

He left for Scotland, taking Jourdan with the 


party, and I quietly packed up and sailed for Cape 
Town on the 12th. Arrived in Cape Town, I was 
more or less at a loose end, and, after a month at 
Muizenberg I, therefore, went on to Salisbury. 
Here the Government didn't quite know what to 
do with me, but gave me an acting appoint- 
ment, and got a medical report on me, the re- 
sult of which was that Rhodes was cabled to 
the effect that I was in Salisbury, and that the 
Medical Director reported that I could not live 
in the country. 

Rhodes immediately cabled to me to come 
home, and I sailed by the east coast for Naples. 
Rhodes was then in Egypt, and I so arranged my 
movements that I arrived in London the day 
before he did. 

I was met by Charles Boyd, whom I have not 
previously mentioned except in my preface, as I 
had missed him in South Africa in 1897, and he 
stood outside the "bodyguard," being political 
secretary in London, where he was in close touch 
with Mr. Chamberlain and political circles generally. 

He was trained for his post, before joining " the 
Old Man," by that cultured and distinguished 
Imperialist, George Wyndham, whom Rhodes 
always held in the very highest regard. Our 
association was, however, mainly convivial, and 
Boyd and I were dining together one night 
when on my first visit to England, when "the 
Old Man" came in, wearing a delightful smile, 
and remarked to Boyd, " I see you get on all 
right ; but how ? Le Sueur can only speak Kaffir." 



The great gold discoveries on the Witwaters- 
rand began to attract attention about July 1886. 
J. B. (Sir Joseph) Robinson had been a member of 
the Cape House of Assembly in 1881, and he early 
realized the possibilities of "the Rand," and by 
following his judgment became a power in South 
African affairs. 

Through his investments in the early days of 
the Rand he accumulated a huge fortune, and he 
was afterwards a stubborn opponent of Rhodes. 
He was, moreover, on terms of great intimacy with 
the late President Paul Kruger. 

As early as 1873 Rhodes had formed a partner- 
ship with C. D. Rudd, and they were early in- 
terested in the Rand gold discoveries. Relying 
on the opinions of " experts," however, who were 
nearly all of opinion that the reef would not go 
down, Rhodes condemned the Rand as a 4 dwt. 
proposition and therefore valueless, and until too 
late left the field open. Gardner Williams especi- 
ally condemned it. 

When the richness of the south leader proved 
the value of the reef, Rhodes threw himself into 
the business of acquiring interests, and succeeded 



in obtaining a considerable holding ; but he had 
evidently missed the cream, as Sir Joseph Robinson 
later said that his investment of £26,000 in Lang- 
laagte stood in a few years at eighteen millions 
sterling ! 

Rhodes personally negotiated with farmers for 
the purchase of their farms, the value of which 
they had, however, begun to realize, and huge 
sums in cash had to be paid for farms which, 
before the " rush," could have been obtained for 
comparatively small amounts. 

There is one story which Rhodes used to tell of 
his negotiations with a farmer. The price had been 
agreed upon — £30,000 in cash — and the money 
was duly counted out on the table and the papers 
presented for signature, when a new difficulty 

" Look here, Mr. Rhodes," said the owner, in 
Dutch, "I've been talking matters over with the 
wife " (your Dutchman always consults his " vrouw " 
when it comes to a business deal, or when he has 
to put pen to paper), " and we have come to the 
conclusion that if we sell the farm we shall have to 
buy another one, and you know how scarce fire- 
wood is. Well, this farm has acres of good wood 
on it, and where shall I find another with anything 
like the wood ? So I can't sell." 

Rhodes was furious, and pointed out that the 
deal had been concluded and the farmer could not 
back out now. 

" Nie, nie " (no, no), said the Boer ; " but I'll tell 
you what I'll do. If you let me take away six 
wagon-loads of firewood from the farm, I'U sell." 


This being readily agreed to, the deal was con- 
cluded and the transfer signed. 

Another Boer had sold his farm for a large sum, 
which was counted out to him in gold, and the 
papers having been signed the purchaser invited 
him across to the inevitable wayside store to clinch 
the bargain. 

The purchaser and members of his party, having 
ordered their drinks, the Boer (who had just 
locked away some £20,000) was asked what he 
would have. 

" Nie," replied he, " Ik gebruik nie brandewyn, 
maar ik zal blievers een blikje jem neem." (No, 
I never drink brandy, but I'll take a tin of jam 
instead. ) 

Rhodes's gold farms in the Transvaal and other 
interests on the Rand were taken over by the 
Consolidated Gold Fields of South Africa, Ltd., 
which was formed in 1886, and forms the most^ 
powerful combine of gold interests in Africa 
to-day. Rhodes's shares in this Company and in 
De Beers were, on his death, about the only 
dividend-paying securities he held.^ 

The " Goldfields," as the Company is known in 
Africa, have a variety of interests, and their funds 
were used by Rhodes for his schemes, as were 
those of De Beers. 

Rhodes was, in 1895, in the zenith of his power, 
being the managing director of the Chartered 
Company and of the Northern Railways, chairman 
of De Beers Consolidated Mines and of the Con- 

^ Not long before his death he and Beit converted their life governor- 
ships of De Beers into deferred shares. 


solidated Gold Fields of South Africa, and Prime 
Minister of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope. 

He was thus armed with huge power, had vast 
interests in Rhodesia, the Transvaal, and the 
Cape, and commanded almost unlimited financial 

His constituency at the Cape was still Barkly 
West, jointly with W. P. Schreiner, Attorney- 

Then came the disagreement with the Transvaal, 
which nearly culminated in war. That was the 
Drifts question, which arose after the opening of 
the railway to Delagoa Bay from Pretoria and 

When this line was opened for traffic, the 
Netherlands Railway, supported by the Transvaal 
Government, imposed such rates over their stretch 
of line from the border (Vaal River) to Johannes- 
burg, that the Cape merchants who sent their 
merchandise as far as the border over the Cape 
Government railway-lines could not compete with 
goods which, entering at Delagoa Bay, were railed 
over the Netherlands line to Johannesburg, in 
spite of the in-transit rate granted by the Cape 
Government railways. 

The Cape merchants then adopted the expedient 
of railing their goods to the border, and, crossing 
the Vaal River at the drifts (fords), sent them on 
to Johannesburg by ox- wagon. 

To stop this Kruger closed the drifts for traffic, 
and armed men were stationed to guard them. 

The matter was the subject of correspondence, as 
piles of goods were accumulating on the border, 


unable to enter the Transvaal, and then Rhodes 
submitted the question to his Attorney- General, 
W. P. Schreiner, for advice as to the legal position, 
and Schreiner advised that Kruger's action was not 
only illegal as a breach of the Convention, but that 
it justified an appeal to arms. 

At this time Kruger looked upon Schreiner as 
in sympathy with him. On receipt of Schreiner 's 
opinion Rhodes immediately communicated it to 
the Transvaal Government, and issued an ulti- 
matum that, unless the drifts were thrown open, 
force would be employed to compel it, and Kruger, 
seeing Schreiner against him, immediately climbed 

The time was not yet ripe. 

Schreiner was, however, by no means pleased at 
use having been made of his opinion, which he 
declared he had given Rhodes confidentially, and 
he considered Rhodes had been guilty of a breach 
of confidence in the matter. 

This was Rhodes's second collision with Kruger 
— the first being in connection with the annexation 
of Bechuanaland. 

In 1895 it was represented to Rhodes that the 
position of the Uitlanders in the Transvaal was 
daily becoming more intolerable, and the continu- 
ance of government under the regime of Kruger 
and his imported officials well-nigh impossible — at 
least, most undesirable^ in view of the fact that the 
Uitlanders, who formed a large proportion of the 
population, were denied any voice in the govern- 
ment of this free republic, the qualifications for 
the franchise being almost impossible for the 


majority of them, although they possessed more 
than half the land, nine-tenths of the wealth, and 
paid nineteen-twentieths of the taxes. 

Urgent representations had been made to Sir 
Henry (afterwards Lord) Loch, the Governor of 
the Cape and High Commissioner for South Africa, 
and in turn to the Imperial Colonial Office, and 
Sir Henry Loch had visited President Kruger in 
Pretoria on the outbreak of riotous behaviour in 
Johannesburg, where the crowd had torn down the 
Transvaal flag and generally made things very 

Sir Henry Loch's mission, however, did more 
harm than good, for even in Pretoria hostile demon- 
strations towards Kruger and his satellites were 
made ; and while the crowd went madly enthusiastic 
over the High Commissioner, they insulted and 
mortally offended the President.^ What would 
have happened had the High Commissioner gone 
on to Johannesburg, Heaven only knows. 

The Reform movement started in Johannesburg, 
where a huge and unwieldy Reform committee 
was elected, not aiming so much at an overthrow 
of the Republic, but rather its establishment on the 
basis of true and free Republicanism. 

The movement met with Rhodes's strong ap- 
proval, and he was ready to afford any assistance 
he could, not inconsistent with his position as 
Prime Minister of the Cape. 

^ The horses were taken from the carriage in which Sir Henry Loch 
and Kruger were driving, and it was dragged by the crowd amid waving 
of the Union Jack, the strains of ^' Rule, Britannia ! " and booes for 
Kruger to Sir Henry's hotel; and on arrival there the men refused 
to pull the carriage with Kruger and Leyds any farther. 


In the meantime Sir Hercules Hobinson, first 
Lord Rosmead, who had a special knowledge of 
South African affairs, replaced Sir Henry Loch in 
June 1895. 

Sir Graham Bower, K.C.M.G., was his Imperial 
Secretary, and Rhodes communicated with him 
freely, a course which afterwards placed Graham 
Bower in an awkward and invidious position. 
Rhodes also freely discussed affairs with friends at 
home, in and out of the Government, and many 
must later have trembled in their shoes at the 
disclosures anticipated at the Commission after- 
wards held to inquire into the preparations for the 
" Rocket Revolution " and the responsibility for 
its inception and the " Jameson Raid." 

As it is only in exceptional cases that revolu- 
tions are accomplished without bloodshed, or at 
all events a show of force, the Reformers con- 
ceived the idea of enlisting the capable male 
population of Johannesburg and arming them 
as proposed opponents to Kruger s zarps and 
burghers and the guns of the fort, which, built 
with the Uitlanders' money, commanded the town 
and could have demolished half of it in little 
or no time. 

The " Revolutionary Forces " were to have been 
under the supreme command of one of the 
Reformers — Colonel Frank Rhodes. 

A large quantity of arms, ammunition, etc., were 
ordered from the Birmingham Small Arms Co., 
and by the men working day and night,^ fitting 

^ The shops were reopened one Saturday afternoon after the men 
had gone to their homes^ and the overseers had to hunt them up. 


parts of rifles, etc., together, the consignment was 
got ready and shipped in time. 

Then it was necessary to make a show of force 
on the border and a scheme of mobiHzation was 
evolved. A large force of police had been raised 
in Bechuanaland — the Bechuanaland Border Police. 
It was arranged that these police should be taken 
over from the Cape Government by the Chartered 
Company, and in order to take transfer all the 
Rhodesian Police who could be spared, with guns, 
maxims, etc., came down under Jameson, Sir John 
Willoughby, and Colonel Harry White to Pitsani 
Pothlugo, near Mafeking, to meet the British 
Bechuanaland Police, under Colonel Raleigh Grey. 
The transfer was, of course, sanctioned by Rhodes 
as Cape Premier, and also accepted by him as 
representing the Chartered Company. 

In the meantime delay after delay occurred in 
Johannesburg. As was only to be expected in a 
huge committee of men of diverse ranks and occu- 
pations, disputes arose, first about the flag and next 
about the choice of the future president — in fact, 
they all seem to have been engaged in counting 
the unhatched chickens. 

The recruits, too, proved very unpromising 
material, many being terrified out of their wits at 
the touch of a rifle ; but their true calibre was 
only proved later, when a number made a rush to 
the Cape Colony, the men (?) in many instances 
pulling the women out of the railway-carriages to 
make room for themselves, and others escaping 
from the tushes of the ** Transvaal Boar " in 
women's clothing. 


Jameson then began champing on the bit at 
Pitsani, and at length, unable to restrain himself 
any longer, and unaware of the hitch in Johannes- 
burg, he broke up camp, cut the telegraph wires 
after wiring to Dr. Wolff, and with his little force 
set out on the quixotic ride to harassed Johannes- 
burg, which was to end at Doornkop and Pretoria 

Colonel Raleigh Grey was before the start asked 
by his men of the B.B.P. whether the force was 
proceeding under the Chartered Company or the 
Imperial Government, and he replied that the 
proceedings had the ** tacit consent of the Imperial 

The ride, the " Battle of Krugersdorp," Jameson's 
surrender, and the arrest of the Reform Committee 
are matters of history and without the scope of 
this book.^ 

The members of the Reform Committee were 
placed in gaol in Pretoria, but under very slack 
discipline, and were allowed visitors and practically 
the same freedom as if they were in their own 
houses. They had numerous visitors, including 
many ladies, who brought them flowers and dainties, 
and they were allowed out on parole, although 
there does not appear to be any truth in the story 
that the gaoler threatened to lock them out unless 
they returned earlier. 

Preparations for the Raid were necessarily carried 

^ Kruger is said to have had a very full knowledge of all that was 
transpiring, and to have been urged to take immediate steps to suppress 
any threatened rebellion, but characteristically to have replied that he 
was only waiting for the tortoise to put out ^' his head " before sticking 
a fork through it. 



on very secretly, and yet had to be complete. 
Details were largely left to Dr. H. A. Wolff — he, 
who, when the "Rocket Revolution" proved a 
fiasco, was found under a bed by his fellow-reformers 
with Jameson's telegram in his pocket. 

An important item was victualling the men and 
horses of the " Relief Force " from the north, in 
case they should have to enter the Transvaal to 
protect the women and children, and the simplest 
method appeared to be the establishment of stores 
along the line of march between Mafeking and 

To this end the Rand Produce and Trading 
Syndicate was formed and the case of J. H. Mac- 
Arthur may be taken as one typical of the way in 
which the syndicate was worked. 

MacArthur's store was on the main road between 
Mafeking and Krugersdorp — about fifty miles from 
the border. 

He was approached by Dr. Wolff, representing 
the Rand Produce and Trading Syndicate, who 
arranged with him to have one of the syndicate's 
stores erected on the stand ^ leased by him and 
adjoining his own store. Mac Arthur agreed to 
purchase produce for the syndicate without com- 
mission, provided he had the use of the store for 
carrying on his own business. 

The store was duly erected and stocked and 
handed over to MacArthur, who had only been in 
possession a few days when Jameson's column came 
along, and it was here that Commandant Botha's 
first message reached Jameson ordering him to 

^ Stand — plot of ground. 


return. A few days afterwards MacArthur was 
taken in to Zeerust, a prisoner, by the Boers, 
and placed in strict confinement. 

After his liberation he explained his position, 
and the principal Reformers paid his expenses, and 
he was given an assurance that he should keep the 
store as compensation, and if he kept quiet every 
one would be righted. 

This was not worth much, as all the stores were 
taken possession of by the Boers, and MacArthur 
was informed that they were now the property of 
the Transvaal Government. 

The rest of MacArthur's story is rather amusing, 
and seems worth repeating. MacArthur tried to 
get at the leading Reformers again, but every one 
professed to have no interest in, nor knowledge of, 
either him or any stores. 

A leading Reformer (Sir George Farrar) then 
wrote and said he could not see him personally, 
"as he knew nothing of the affair," but he men- 
tioned a party, an outsider, " who would perhaps 
be able to advise." This third party promised to 
interest himself, "not that he thought the Re- 
formers liable, but because he was convinced that 
it was a hard case," and MacArthur was tendered 
£350 in full settlement, and at the same time 
informed that " the stores were a private spec, of 
Colonel Rhodes." 

Dr. Wolff wrote to MacArthur, and referred to 
£100 he had left him in cash to purchase produce 
with, " but in the present state of things I think 
you had better leave alone that speculation." 

MacArthur now applied for the keys of the 


store, and was informed by the Government that 
they had already advised him that the store was 
now the property of the Government. 

In bewilderment Mac Arthur sought legal advice, 
and obtained an opinion from his lawyers that 
" for their part they thought that the Government 
was taking up a very high-handed and untenable 
position " — which reminds one of the sergeant's 
report to his captain that Private Smith had been 
arrested by a civil constable in camp. " But he 
cant do that," said the captain. "Anyhow, he's 
done it," was the sergeant's reply. 

MacArthur tried more law, and was advised 
that " the mere fact of announcing that the 
store was now their property could not possi- 
bly be deemed as conferring ownership on the 
Government," and that he had better give the 
Government notice that he would charge them, 
and prevent them trespassing on his property. He 
was recommended, in addition, to take counsel's 
opinion, unless he preferred to drop the matter. 

The only response he got to his last appeal to 
the Government was, " Gemelde stoor nu het 
eigendom is van de Regeering der Z.A.R." ^ 

The fines inflicted on the Reformers amounted 
to some £200,000, and this was paid by Messrs. 
Rhodes and Beit. The Reformers had, on release, 
to sign an undertaking not to conspire against the 
Government, but, as is well known. Colonel (now 
Sir Aubrey) WooUs-Sampson and Major Karri 
Davis refused to sign, and remained in gaol until 

* ** The store in question is now the property of the Government of 
the South African Republic." 


Kruger, of his magnanimity, released them on 
Jubilee Day, June 22, 1897. 

Sampson and Rhodes had been friends for years, 
and of Davis Rhodes used to say, " Ah, there's a 
white man for you, if you like I " 

Immediately it was known in Cape Town that 
Jameson had crossed the border, Graham Bower 
called on Rhodes with a letter from the Governor 
demanding Jameson's instant recall. Graham 
Bower was told to see Rhodes personally, but 
failed to do so, for he first locked himself up in 
his bedroom and then retired to the solitude of the 
mountain with his thoughts, and for days after 
Jameson's surrender he was as a man distraught. 

He immediately handed in his resignation as 
Prime Minister, and this, as he said, was inevitable 
in view of the undertaking he had given as to his 
doing nothing incompatible with the dual positions 
held by him. 

He was also called upon to resign his chairman- 
ship and managing directorship of the Chartered 
Company, but retained his Privy Councillorship. 

Of course, he never intended Jameson to rush 
from Pitsani to Johannesburg like a fihbustering 
invader, but he did hope that Kruger 's hand might 
be forced by the show of force on the border and 
the reforms brought about without bloodshed. 

Once Jameson had started, it was out of Rhodes's 
power to stop him, however much he might have 
wished to do so, and the fact that Sir Graham 
Bower failed to see him made little if any 

In referring to the Raid afterwards, Rhodes used 


to chuckle and say, " Aha, but it was very nearly a 
success," and add, " Of course, the proper course 
would have been for Jameson to have put his bag 
on the train and gone to the Johannesburg races." 

Speaking of the Reformers' actions, he said, 
" Instead of arming that mob in Johannesburg, a 
couple of hundred men could have gone to Pretoria 
with knobkerries and seized the President, members 
of the Raad,^ and the Arsenal, and the whole thing 
would have been over." 

He would also keep repeating, " What Jameson 
should have done, once he had started, was to have 
saddled up at that last store where they had 
sardines and gone on the twelve miles into Johan- 
nesburg instead of waiting. Why, they got there 
at midday." 

He was sure that if Jameson had been in, or had 
got to Johannesburg, everything would have been 
accomplished. His faith in Jameson was un- 

In consequence of the Raid the share market 
was paralysed, and some of those " in the know " 
reaped a golden harvest. 

Rhodes's resignation was inevitable, but many of 
his friends deprecated it. One wrote that the more 
he thought over it the more convinced he was that 
he must not resign until the Johannesburg crisis 
was completed and Jameson back. If he resigned 
before that he would, he was certain, greatly 
weaken Jamesons position and England's position 
in Africa. 

The Ministry, of course, fell with Rhodes, and 

^ Raad — Parliament or Council. 


Schreiner, who indeed loved him with more than 
brotherly affection, albeit he deeply felt what he 
regarded asRhodes's want of confidence in him in not 
acquainting him with the movement in the north, 
wrote to him and exhorted him to keep great and 
do nothing small. " As for me," he added, " I sit 
on the rocks with my small boy and throw stones 
into the water." 

Jameson and his officers were sentenced to 
various terms of imprisonment, and Jameson, after 
some time in Holloway, was released on the ground 
of ill-health. The plea as to the state of his health 
has been questioned, but it is a fact that he was 
moved straight from Holloway to the nursing 
home of a specialist, and that there, even though 
all his food was rubbed through a sieve for him, he 
suffered agonies after a meal. 

The Boers gained a lot of information from a 
diary kept by the Hon. R. (" Bobby ") White, 
Jameson's secretary, which was found on the field ; 
and Rhodes ever after had a horror of diaries and 
journals, and when he found me writing one up in 
1897 he promptly destroyed it. 

Kruger, of course, submitted a claim for com- 
pensation, and presented a formidable bill, an item 
in which, "£1,000,000 for moral and intellectual 
damages," excited universal merriment and Rhodes's 
intense ire, and he used to prove by complex figures 
that instead of suffering damage " Kruger made a 
considerable profit out of the Raid." 

He argued that the practice is not to pay 
burghers called out for service, and that while 
Kruger 's outlay was a little over £100,000, against 


this he received in fines over £200,000, while a 
special war tax was levied on farms, the farms of 
absentees belonging chiefly to Uitlanders. Then 
there was also an asset in the munitions of war 

The cost could not be debited solely against 
Jameson, because the burghers were called out to 
overawe Johannesburg, which was in revolt. 

The cost to the Transvaal, said Rhodes, must 
be estimated by what they paid out, and he insisted 
that inspection of the accounts showed that they 
made a large profit. 

Sir Thomas Fuller gives the statement made 
by Rhodes to the English Committee of Inquiry, 
in which he admits his connection with the move- 
ment in Johannesburg and that he assisted the 
movement, and further placed Jameson on the 
border to act in certain eventualities, while Jame- 
son chivalrously wished to take all the blame. 

Sir Lewis Michell says: "There are no un- 
revealed secrets about the Raid." 

There may be no unrevealed " secrets," but 
there was some appalling lying about the prepara- 
tions. The real pity is that there was not more 
secrecy, the fact being that there was far too wide 
a knowledge. 

In the face of Rhodes's candid utterance, and, 
moreover, of established facts, it is hard to con- 
ceive why any one should imagine that there was 
any mystery about Rhodes's connection with either 
the revolution or the Raid. 

But in view of Rhodes's statement before the 
Committee that he did not communicate his views 

1896] THE WAR OF 1899 238 

to the board of directors of the British South 
Africa Company, a mystery does lie as to how 
any one in England, especially those in high places, 
came into possession of his views and knowledge 
of the events about to transpire, though Rhodes 
does not say he did not communicate his views 
to private individuals and friends at home. 

There is, moreover, a mystery as to what moral 
or other support Rhodes could have relied on in 
the event of the success of the movement revealing 
him closely identified with it. 

If the mere disclosure of the fact that he was 
aiding and abetting the movement, while he had 
given an undertaking in the Cape House that 
while Prime Minister and chairman of the 
Chartered Company he would do nothing in- 
compatible with his dual position, brought about 
his political ruin on the failure of the movement, 
would not its success have precisely the same 
aftermath, unless he knew he could count on strong 
moral support in high quarters ? 

I do not mean to adopt an " I could an' I 
would " attitude. Such is far from being the case, 
but I merely wish to emphasize the point that the 
full details cannot possibly be published at present, 
and I doubt if they ever will be, as after Rhodes's 
death all the papers in his possession relating to 
the Raid were destroyed under direction of the 

The Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902 

From the time that the agitation commenced 
in the Transvaal and Rhodes identified himself 


with the cause of the Uitlander/ he became the bete 
noire of the Transvaal Boer and his sympathizers 
in the Orange Free State and Cape Colony. 
Resentment against him was also still felt over 
his ultimatum to Kruger over the Drifts question, 
reaching frenzy when Jameson swooped down on the 
Dopper ^ Republic from the north. No matter what 
happened, everything was put down to the evil 
influence of Rhodes and Kemmerlin (Chamberlain), 
aided and abetted by a mysterious Frank Eyes 
(the Franchise), and the Boers would have given 
anything to have captured Rhodes during the war. 

Just prior to war being declared Rhodes deter- 
mined to go to Kimberley, and he arrived there 
the day after Kruger issued his ultimatum, and the 
town was immediately invested. 

He doubtless felt that his presence was required, 
in view of De Beers' large interests, for he never 
looked on Kimberley as a home, never built a 
house there, nor did he care about the majority 
of the people. He was accompanied by Jourdan 
and Dr. Smartt, and he got through safely. His 
departure was kept very quiet, but in spite of all 
the news leaked out. 

Mr. and Mrs. Rochfort Maquire managed to 
get through, and were Rhodes's constant com- 
panions during the siege. 

* Uitlander, lit. foreigner — any settler in the Transvaal who was 
not a burgher by birth or to whom letters of naturalization had not 
been granted. More especially applied to Britishers, who were under 
more stringent restrictions than any other nation. 

' Doppers — a nonconforming section of the Dutch Reformed Church. 
Kruger used to preach in the Dopper Kerk (Church) as Rockefeller did 
in his chapel. 

i899] RHODES'S VIEWS 235 

In August 1899 I was in Bulawayo, still 
endeavouring to con the lesson set me by Rhodes 
to " learn the value of a sovereign." Jack Grimmer 
and I met Colonel Weston-Jarvis, and he told us 
that the climax in the Transvaal was certain to 
come off in October. Grimmer volunteered for 
the Imperial Light Horse, and I signed on for 
service with Napier's Horse. On October 12 
Kruger issued his ultimatum. 

I got ill shortly after this, however, and Jack 
Grimmer, opining that Rhodes would go to 
Kimberley, made his way down country in the 
hope of joining him. He arrived too late, how- 
ever, and only got into Kimberley with the Relief 
Force under General French. 

Rhodes, in August 1899, felt sure that as soon 
as the British Parliament rose there would be 
important developments at Home on the Transvaal 

He felt, moreover, that it was satisfactory that 
the Imperial Government was firm in its resolves 
to force Kruger, if necessary, to grant the reforms. 
He opined that if Kruger accepted Chamberlain's 
suggestion for a joint commission it would only 
cause delay and result in nothing good for the 
British, save a final rupture. 

As " The Times " said, " The pubUc realized at 
last that the issue was nothing less than British 
supremacy in South Africa, an issue before which 
all the scandals of Boer misgovernment faded into 

Rhodes knew also that there was little doubt 
that the great majority of the country was with 


the Government, and he did not think, as he said, 
" Kruger such an ass as to resist to the end." 

The settlement of affairs in the South African 
Repubhc Rhodes held to be of vital necessity, and 
he felt that once the burning question of the 
Transvaal was over his real mission would begin 
and result in the attainment of one of his life's 
objects — a united South Africa. 

Rhodes certainly did not anticipate that the vv^ar 
would last long— in fact, to the very end he did 
not believe that there would be a war at all. He 
was convinced that the Boers were playing a game 
of bluff, or else he deliberately misled the people 
at Home* 

He kept urging on friends to try and get the 
pressure maintained by the Home Government, 
and he wrote and cabled his opinion that Kruger 
would not fight. " Remember Kruger will climb 
down. He will never fight," he wrote to Alfred 
Beit, and cabled, " Nothing will make Kruger fire 
a shot." 

Had he thought that Kimberley would be 
besieged for so long a time it is doubtful whether 
he would have locked himself up there ; but once 
there, it is not strange that the military authorities 
found his presence irksome. 

He really tried to assume in Kimberley the 
position he held during the Matabele campaign — 
a position which was naturally intolerable to the 
military authorities. Accustomed to command, 
especially in Kimberley, where he was a sort of 
dictator, it is no wonder that he was impatient of 
control, and that the military authorities found 


him a handful. It was probably the first time 
in his life that he could not do exactly as he 

His presence in Kimberley was a source of 
anxiety, not only to his friends on account of his 
personal safety, but to the military and to the 
inhabitants, who knew that the Boers would strain 
every effort to capture him, and the mayor of the 
town wired to him and begged him not to come 
to Kimberley. 

He had not been in Kimberley very long before 
he was at loggerheads with Colonel Kekewich, 
and they seem to have squabbled nobly. After 
the siege was raised, however, Rhodes reserved his 
choicest anathemas for one Major O'Meara, who 
seems to have roused his particular ire. 

Colonel Kekewich had a mauvais quart d'heure 
with Lord Roberts after the siege was raised, the 
Field-Marshal telling him, when Kekewich said, 
" I have put up with this man as long as possible,'' 
that ** this man," as he called him, " was a power 
in Africa and should have been humoured." The 
harassed colonel replied that all he could say was 
he had done his duty. Lord Roberts replied that 
he was quite aware that Kekewich had done his 
duty, but he had done it in a way that was 
displeasing to him. Colonel Kekewich's services, 
however, were rightly appreciated by De Beers, 
who presented him with some very fine diamonds 
after the siege was raised. 

Rhodes appears to have devoted his time and 
the resources of De Beers to the comfort and 
safety of the people in Kimberley in every way, 


and from his private purse he suppUed even the 
Boer prisoners with luxuries, clothing, etc. 

He tried to get some horses into the town for 
the purpose of mounted sorties, and to that end he 
got hold of a Dutchman and gave him a sum of 
money in cash, and told him to go to Barkly and 
buy horses and bring them into the town. The 
Dutchman set off, and although he managed to buy 
horses the Boers captured them, and he barely 
escaped with his life into the town. 

In the meantime Fynn had told Rhodes that he 
did not think the man would get the horses, and 
added, " I think you have lost your money." 

Fynn and Rhodes were sitting on the stoep of 
the Sanatorium when the man returned ; and Fynn 
said, " There's your Dutchman," and immediately 
Rhodes saw him he shrieked out in his high falsetto, 
** Damn you 1 where are my horses ? Where is my 
money? Go back, go back, and get my horses. 
Fynn said you d steal the money"; and he advanced 
on him with such a ferocious aspect that the Dutch- 
man fled for his life. He even got out of the town, 
but did not return. 

The garrison, of course, suffered many privations, 
though none of the besieged garrisons suffered 
hardships comparable in the remotest degree to 
those endured, say, in the siege of Paris. Lady- 
smith was perhaps reduced to the greatest straits ; 
while as to Mafeking I was told by members of 
Plumer's Relief Column that on entry to the town 
only were they able to obtain necessaries they had 
long looked upon as luxuries. 

In Mafeking itself foodstuffs could always be 


purchased, such as bully-beef, sardines, etc., though 
at siege prices, of course ; while the only complaint 
one member of the garrison had to make was that 
the night after the relief some members of the 
Relief Column broke into the mess to which he 
belonged and looted all their liquor. The wines, 
spirits, etc., were supposed to be handed in to 
general stock as medical comforts, but as a week's 
notice was given to hotel-keepers, stores, etc., to 
produce their stocks they had ample time to create 
a reserve. 

In Kimberley Jourdan says, " Every one wanted 
to stand the members of the Relief Column drinks," 
which does not sound as if supplies of liquor, at all 
events, were exhausted. It was a great grief to 
" Danie " Haarhoff, however, in Kimberley to 
sacrifice a pet goose he had had for nearly thirty 
years ; but he slew the goose for fear of his being 
commandeered for the common funds. 

The Boers were most anxious to capture Rhodes, 
and it is even said that they had an iron cage pre- 
pared in which to take him to Pretoria. There 
were many rumours of his escape from Kimberley, 
and once it was reported that he had escaped in a 

Rhodes used to ride about in his usual customary 
style in his white flannel trousers, and I heard that 
he had at least one narrow escape when riding with 
the Maguires. 

There were thousands of natives shut up in the 
town, and the question of feeding them was a 
serious one, until an expedient was hit on by 
W. D. Fynn (one of the "Queenstown gang"). He 


had an unique knowledge of natives, having 
spent all his life amongst them, and he had a 
number of educated natives who did nothing but 

Some of these latter he sent out to the chiefs 
from whose kraals most of the natives came, and it 
was explained to the chiefs that they were to go to 
the Boer commandant (Cronje), and say that they 
and their people were anxious to assist the Boers, 
but that as long as their people were shut up and 
being shelled in Kimberley they were unable to do 

The chiefs did as they were told, and Cronje, 
completely taken in, told them that if they could 
communicate with their people and get them to 
come out they would be escorted through the Boer 
lines. This was communicated to Fynn, and 
accordingly trains loaded with useless consumers 
of much-needed grain were nightly run out a few 
miles, and then the natives made for the Boer 
lines, through which they were allowed to pass ; 
but there is no record that the assistance promised 
to Cronje was ever afforded. 

Rhodes managed to get a few letters through 
the lines, but he chafed and fretted over the dearth 
of news. The following is a draft of a message he 
sent through to his brother, and the facsimile pro- 
duced gives a clear idea of the way in which he used 
to compose his letters. After alteration it reads : 

" Dear Major, 

" Would you send enclosed for me ? I do 
not often bother. 

i90o] "LONG CECIL" 241 

"Rhodes to Elmhirst Rhodes, 

^' MoDDER River. 

" My messengers cannot get through. Kindly 
send me some news. A large portion of last official 
wire from Enslin was that a Boer gave a soldier a 
tin. I suppose with jam in it. Evidently a Boer 
mania is on. Really Methuen or some one should 
see that something better than such rot is flashed. 

" Yours, 

"C. J. Rhodes." 

The fact of the matter was that the message 
was merely a trial in testing a heliograph. 

Kimberley was woefully deficient in guns until 
at last some one bethought him of two large pieces 
of steel which had been lying in De Beers' yards for 
a long time, and a gun was designed and built by 
an engineer named Labram. 

The gun, known as " Long Cecil," was built in 
De Beers' workshops, and before it could be built 
tools and certain machinery for making it had first 
to be manufactured. The shells were also made 
in the workshops, and their bases were inscribed 
*' Compts. C.J.R." One of them is now at Groote 

Labram was killed by one of the last shells fired 
into the town. During the three days preceding 
his death he had several very narrow^ escapes, and 
when Rhodes was told of his death he said, " Well, 
what's a man to do when God's been chasing him 
for three days ? " 

Rhodes never spoke much of his experiences 
during the siege of Kimberley, nor did he say 


much about the War, except that Jameson ^ had no 
business to be in Ladysmith, where he could do no 
good, and that Baden- Powell should have been 
operating in the north instead of " mountebanking 
in Mafeking." 

Immediately after the raising of the siege of 
Kimberley Rhodes went off to Cape Town, and 
then made another tour of Rhodesia, entering via 
Beira and going up to Inyanga and Melsetter, 
which latter place he had not yet seen. 

He was much exercised in his mind about the 
Boers' remarkable knowledge of the movement and 
disposition of the British troops, and then came to 
the conclusion that they were supplied with infor- 
mation by the employees of the meat contractors — 
the firm of GraafF & Co., under the management 
of the Hon. D. P. de Villiers GraafF (now Sir David 
GraafF, Bart.), of course, a strong pro-Boer. 

Rhodes expressed the opinion that the contractor's 
employees who accompanied the columns were all 
spies, and thus the Boers had a ready-made and 
very efficient intelligence department. 

He determined, therefore, to try and counteract 
this by the formation of a new company — the 
Imperial Cold Storage Co., Ltd. — which was to 
make a bid for the meat contract and get rid of 
the " spies." 

The company was formed, its foundation being 
the business purchased as a " going concern " of 
one Bergl of Durban; but it was not a great 
financial success, and I fancy it was liquidated at a 
large loss. 

' Jameson had enteric in Ladysmith. 



When Rhodes's political duties brought him to 
Cape Town, he first lived in hotels and afterwards 
shared chambers with Captain Penfold, the Port 
Captain, who was many years his senior, but most 
amusingly used, in common with the rest of the 
intimate coterie, to speak of Rhodes as '* the Old 

He then leased Groote Schuur, at that time the 
home of Mrs. John van der Byl, and he finally 
purchased the house with a few surrounding acres 
of land. 

The place is generally called Groote Schuur, 
but the correct name is " De Groote Schuur," 
Dutch for "The Great Granary," and a mile 
off is "De Kleine Schuur," or "The Small 

These names survive from the days of the old 
Dutch East India Company, when the Cape of 
Good Hope was the natural port of call for fresh 
supplies and water for vessels plying between 
Europe and the East. A few names of the earlier 
Portuguese occupation and trade between Lisbon 



and Calicut and Goa also survive, such as d' Almeida 
Bay and Saldanha Bay.^ 

De Groote Schuur was built as a storehouse 
and also a factor's residence for the grain then 
grown along the Liesbeek River ; and on the 
mountain-side above still stand the ruins of one 
of the forts erected to protect the young colony 
from marauding Hottentots. A few years ago one 
of the guns was still lying there. 

Groote Schuur, at different times, came into the 
possession of the family of the late John Hofmeyr 
and the Mosterts (the graves of some of their 
ancestors are on the estate) ; then it passed to the 
de Smidts, and then to the van der Byls. The 
old windmill which used to grind the Dutch East 
India Company's corn is still standing in a fair 
state of preservation near Rudyard Kipling's house 
— '* The Woolsack." 

The estate is approached by a magnificent 
avenue of pines, and about the house and in the 
vicinity are many massive oaks, whose existence 
is due to the foresight of the great Dutch Governor, 
van der Stell, who made every owner of land 
plant a certain number of trees, and the magnificent 
oaks about Stellenberg and Stellenbosch (called 
after him) bear witness to his policy in this 

* Portuguese. Algoa Bay and Delagoa Bay on the East Coast form 
two points of the base of a triangle whose apex is Goa. During the 
season the prevailing winds set in across the Indian Ocean from a 
southerly direction, and vessels sailed towards Goa from the direction 
of Algoa ("to Goa") Bay ; and returning, the prevailing winds were more 
westerly, and Delagoa ("from. Goa") Bay was the port for which they 


Mrs. van der Byl altered the name of Groote 
Schuur to "The Grange." When Rhodes pur- 
chased the property in 1893, however, he restored 
the name, but the name of the entrance avenue 
was not altered from " Grange Avenue " to 
"Groote Schuur Avenue" until after his death. 

After purchasing the house Rhodes set about 
acquiring the surrounding ground, and the estate 
now comprises about 1,500 acres, including a large 
portion of the slope of the mountain, up, in fact, 
to the old block-house. Most of this was covered 
with thick bush. 

He also purchased a strip of the mountain-side 
sufficient to make a road for about five miles from 
Groote Schuur to the Hout Bay Nek. " West- 
brooke," the property of the Moodies, which ad- 
joins Groote Schuur, he tried to purchase, but 
the estate was entailed, and the entail could not 
then be broken. The property has since been 
purchased by the Union Government for an official 
residence for the High Commissioner. 

Always intending Groote Schuur to be a 
pleasaunce for the public, Rhodes had drives and 
roads made, the bush intersected by protecting fire- 
paths, and benches of teak placed at different points. 
He then divided a portion of the estate into pad- 
docks, into which were turned different varieties 
of South African antelope ; and he imported from 
Austraha kangaroos, emus, and wallabies, which 
have all thriven well. Rhodes tried hard to get 
some giraffe for Groote Schuur, and at last man- 
aged to get one ; but on the way down country 
by train in a truck whoever was in charge forgot 


to have the animal's head pulled down on entering 
the Hex River tunnel, and the giraffe's neck was 

The aviaries were filled with Lady Amherst 
and golden pheasants, Californian quail, and 
Japanese wild duck, with various other birds. 

The English song-birds, however, were a great 
disappointment. Rhodes imported a great number 
of nightingales, thrushes, starlings, chaffinches, and 
about two hundred rooks. These were all liberated 
at Groote Schuur. For a year or two the songs 
of the nightingales and thrushes were heard in 
the woods on the estate, but they seem to have 
died out, or else the phlegm of South Africa 
having entered their spirits they have developed 
a characteristic disinclination for anything ap- 
proaching work, for they no longer sing, though the 
chaffinches and starlings especially have become 
very numerous. 

The rooks were killed off by the carrion-crows, 
with the exception of three, who for some years 
carried on a seemingly bored existence in the firs 
at the back of the house, but they, too, bucketed 
about in the high winds in silence. 

The starlings, however, were made of different 
metal. They immediately took to their new 
country, and throve exceedingly. They have in- 
creased in numbers to an alarming extent, and are 
the curse of the fruit farmers ; in fact, they have 
become almost as great a pest in the fruit-growing 
districts as the rabbit in Australia, or the London 
sparrow imported into New York. 

The squirrels, too, liberated at Groote Schuur 


have spread in vast numbers over the Cape pen- 
insula, and levy a heavy toll upon all manner of 
nuts, and destroy thousands of peaches in getting 
at the kernels in the stones. Serious attempts are 
being made to exterminate them. 

At Groote Schuur there were no neat lawns 
nor dainty flower-beds, but even the garden re- 
flected the " bigness " of the man, and everything 
grew more or less wild ; big flowering shrubs and 
tangles of blossoming creepers luxuriated every- 
where, while the terraces at the back of the house 
were covered with shrubs and creepers that provide 
a heterogeneous mass of colour, and the blazing 
magenta of masses of bougainvillea stand out in 
vivid contrast to the delicate light blue of the 
hedges of plumbago^ by which it was flanked. 
Rhodes wished everything out of doors to be of 
"barbaric simplicity." 

When Groote Schuur was purchased by Rhodes, 
the house was not the imposing edifice it is to-day. 
The old thatched roof had been removed and 
slates substituted ; but Rhodes restored the thatch, 
which a few years after is said to have caused 
the fire which gutted the house. 

The public readily took advantage of Rhodes's 
throwing the grounds open to them, and they are 
the holiday resort of hundreds of busy workers, 
besides being a show-place for visitors to the Cape. 
The house was open for inspection even when Rhodes 
was in occupation ; but it was, as a rule, closed 
on Sundays and public holidays, as the sightseers 
were too numerous for the staff to deal with. 

* Rhodes's favourite flower. 


Numerous visitors used calmly to walk up and 
stroll along the back, looking into the windows, 
even when Rhodes, whom they probably did not 
recognize, was sitting in his chair at the far end 
of the stoep. I have known the bell to be rung by 
couples, and tea asked for, which was always suppHed, 
and I have come across people strolling about the 
house quite unattended, having probably walked 
in through some door left open. One afternoon 
I went into the library, and saw a rough-looking 
man sitting in an easy-chair reading a newspaper. 
I inquired if there was anything I could do for 
him. " No," he replied. " Then what are you 
doing here ? " I asked. *' Oh, just havin' a look 
round," he said. " This is Cecil Rhodes's 'ouse, 
ain't it ? " 

The old summer-house was restored, and be- 
came a favourite spot for picnic parties and " school- 
treats." Notice of one of these used to be sent to 
the steward, and then native "boys" were sent 
to make fires and boil kettles, and swings were put 
up so that the visitors had a minimum of trouble. 

Rhodes was very much annoyed to find that 
in a very short time the teak benches had a mass 
of names and initials cut into them by visitors 
who wished to immortalize themselves. He hated 
that sort of thing, and told me he felt like weeping 
when he saw the disfigurements on the ruins of 
temples, etc., when he went up the Nile. 

Rhodes was presented with a lion and lioness, 
for whom he built a den or cage in two compart- 
ments — one occupied by the lions and one by a 
leopard. The lions hated the proximity of th^e 

1 897] THE LIONS 249 

leopard, and the latter having, in an unwary 
moment, let his tail hang through the dividing- 
bars the lion got hold of it, and pulled it off, and 
the leopard died of blood-poisoning. The lioness 
twice had cubs, but they did not live/ 

The public had free access to every part of the 
estate, but were warned against entering the 
paddocks which contained the more dangerous 
animals. In spite of all warnings, however, three 
persons were killed in one of the paddocks by a 
black wildebeeste (gnu).^ One man who went in 
to gather mushrooms was picked up in nineteen 

Rhodes himself had a narrow escape from a big 
eland bulL^ While he was walking in a paddock 
with a friend the bull attacked them, but a 
large stone thrown by Rhodes at the animal broke 
its hind leg, and Rhodes and his friend made their 

In a speech on the cost of living once at Cape 
Town Rhodes told his audience that he was 
horrified when his steward told him that his lions 
were costing him £180 a year in meat alone, and 
went on to say that when looking down on Cape 
Town from the mountain he reflected that if he 
felt the cost of meat for his lions to be so high, 
how much more were not the poor in the houses 
below him affected ? 

He made President Kruger very angry by pre- 
senting a lion to the Pretoria Zoo through 

^ '^ Wildebeeste " (gnu) — the black species is now extinct, but the 
brindled or blue abounds in Bechuanaland, Rhodesia and farther 

-^ "JBland " — the largest South African antelope^ 


Dr. Gunning, the curator, who came to visit him. 
The curator was ordered to return it, as Kruger 
looked on the gift as a studied insult. Dr. Gunning 
wrote returning the lion in September 1899, and 
he afterwards* told Rhodes that the discourteous 
letter was dictated for his signature, and that 
some of the members of the Volksraad had 
suggested that a silver collar should be put round 
the lion's neck and inscribed " Suzerainty." 

After the outbreak of rinderpest the lions were fed 
on cold storage meat, which was the only meat 
procurable, but after a few months they refused 
to touch it, and would leave it lying for days, until 
sheer hunger forced them to eat it. A flock of goats 
was then purchased, and were killed for the lions, 
who ate the flesh readily. Live pigeons and fowls 
were also put into the cage for them, as the lions 
needed fresh blood, and like great cats they would 
stalk pigeons and spring to the top of the cage to 
get them. 

The animals occasionally escaped, especially one 
koodoo bull, who used to leap a seven-foot fence 
and raid Rudyard Kipling's rose-garden. A 
kangaroo was caught in a leopard-trap by a 
Hout Bay farmer, who killed it and sent Rhodes 
a hind-quarter. The quagga (zebra) were not 
confined in paddocks, but the herd used to range 
the mountain-side ; while the thick bush was full 
of pea-fowl, which reverted to a semi-wild state. 
The native grysbok used to come down from 
Table Mountain and get through the wire fences, 
and one afternoon I shot five of them in one of 
the paddocks within an hour. 

1 897] THE FIRE 251 

During the outbreak of plague at the Cape 
Rhodes offered a site on the estate to the miUtary 
for estabhshment of a plague camp, but the 
municipal authorities objected to the use of this 
ideal spot for the purpose. 

Rhodes furnished his house with all the quaint 
old Dutch and French furniture he could collect 
in the Cape Colony, and the bedroom utensils, etc., 
were all in sympathetic style. One of the old 
Dutch doors from the Castle was put in on the 
back stoep, and Rhodes purchased his front door 
from the My burghs at Elsenberg (near Stellenbosch). 
He paid £200 for this door, besides providing a 

At Christmas 1895 Groote Schuur was burnt 
down. The origin of the fire is uncertain, but the 
circumstances point to the act of an incendiary. The 
fire broke out in the thatch at the corner of the 
roof above one of the bedrooms. The house was 
gutted, only two rooms being spared. The Elsen- 
berg door was destroyed, as no one seemed to 
know that it could easily be removed by being 
simply lifted off the hinges. A great number of 
papers were destroyed, as well as a large number 
of books, and, of course, a quantity of furniture 
which it was impossible to replace. 

Rhodes's books were distributed through three 
rooms — some in the ante-room, used as an office, 
others in the billiard-room, and others in the 
smoking-room (called the library). With the ex- 
ception of some old volumes of travel in the 
billiard-room there were none of particular value. 

History and biography predominated, and he 


had many works on Napoleon, from Bourrienne's 
pasan of praise to Rosebery's " Last Phase." The 
cream of the hbrary was the unique collection of 
translations of the classics, which cost Rhodes from 
first to last about £8,000. 

Rhodes commissioned Mr. A. Humphreys, of 
Hatchard's, Piccadilly, to obtain for him transla- 
tions of the authorities quoted by Gibbon in 
his " Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," 
in absolutely unabridged form. They were all 
type- written and bound in uniform red, and 
many were illustrated with drawings from coins, 
medallions, etc., and some of them were of a 
decidedly erotic nature. When I catalogued the 
library, I locked away the volumes containing the 
more disturbing of the illustrations ; but despite all 
precautions the illustrations were cut out and 
removed. 1 have a shrewd idea as to the culprit. 

There were also many other classics of interest, 
such as those entitled the " Private Histories of 
the Roman Emperors and Empresses," and a large 
number of texts as well as translations of old 
French and Portuguese books of travel. 

Rhodes was up country at the time of the fire, 
news of which was wired to him ; and the story 
goes that he was told that bad news had arrived 
for him, and that when the nature of it was con- 
veyed to him he said, " Thank God ! — I thought 
something had happened to Jameson." I don't 
believe this story has any foundation in fact, but 
he did inquire immediately whether the front 
door had been saved. 

A Mr. CoUey was employed to furnish Groote 

1896] THE BATHROOM 253 

Schuur, and he was more or less in the position of 
an advising architect. He was really in charge 
of Groote Schuur. When the fire occurred, Miss 
Edith Rhodes was staying at Groote Schuur and 
had had a disagreement with Colley, who left the 
house, and I do not think Rhodes ever again spoke 
to him. Rhodes said that Colley should have 
remained at Groote Schuur, as he was in charge 
and practically responsible for the house. 

Rhodes had taken a great fancy to Herbert 
Baker, who had introduced a new style of archi- 
tecture into the Cape Colony. Herbert Baker, 
with Francis Masey, afterwards established the 
firm of Baker & Masey, the leading architects in 
South Africa. Rhodes employed Baker to rebuild 
Groote Schuur on the old site of the house. There 
was a great deal of alteration, and a new 
wing was added. The thatch was replaced with 
tiles and the ceilings made fireproof. Baker rather 
elaborated, but the simplicity of Groote Schuur is 
due to Rhodes, who made many suggestions, and 
took an active interest in the progress of the work 
while he^ was there. A replica of the old front door 
was made, and the old brasses were attached to it. 

A feature of the house is the lavish use of teak 
for panelling, rafters, and ceilings, a whole ship- 
load of Burmah teak having been employed. 
The fireplaces were all large open ones, in which 
great logs were burned. 

The principal bathroom received particular 
attention. The whole of it was paved with 
coloured and white and green marble, the bath 
itself was hollowed out of one solid block of granite, 


brought from the Paarl, and the room contained a 
large marble slab for any one who required massage. 

The bath excited the particular interest of the 
late " Dick " Seddon, Premier of New Zealand, 
when he visited Groote Schuur, and turning round 
to Mrs. Seddon he said, " At last, Ma, I have 
found a bath to fit me." 

On Rhodes s return from the north in 1898, one 
or two rooms had been completed, and he occupied 
his bedroom, which he chose on account of the 
wonderful view it gave of the slopes of the 
mountain. It directly faced the old block-house 
and the site of the memorial since erected. He 
liked showing friends over the house, and would 
conduct them to his bedroom to point out the 
view from the window. 

After the house had been rebuilt, it was 
refurnished from top to bottom. The existing 
dining-room table is a fine piece of Spanish 
walnut, and at one time belonged to my own 
people. The beds were all solid teak four- 
posters, the wardrobes, with silver handles and 
secret drawers, were old Dutch ones, picked 
up here and there in Dutch farmhouses and old 
mansions, and the house generally was filled with 
antiques of all sorts. Nothing clashed, but in 
everything, from copper kitchen utensils and brass 
cuspidors to the Spanish stamped leather in the 
drawing-room, there was harmony. 

Rhodes was not fond of pictures, and 1 don't think 
he bought more than one in his life — at least not 
because he admired it. He always said he could 
employ his money better than by spending it on 

1899] PICTURES 255 

pictures. The one he did buy was a Reynolds, which, 
he said, represented his ideal of a beautiful woman. 
This picture was hung over the fireplace in the 

During the siege of Kimberley Groote Schuur 
was occupied, at Rhodes's invitation, by some friends, 
who invited other friends, and entertained them- 
selves and one another royally, nor hesitated to 
take full advantage of Rhodes's hospitality, even 
to the length of ordering their own particular 
brands of wines and cigars. 

During one of their after-dinner frolics a table- 
knife chanced to find its way through the eye of 
the lady portrayed in the picture. The damage 
was skilfully repaired, but had Rhodes but known ! 
It is significant, though, that immediately he 
could get a wire through he closed the house 
to guests. This picture, after his death, was 
removed to Dalham. 

Another picture he admired belonged to one 
Kahn of Paris, and Rhodes offered him £6,000 for 
it. Kahn refused, but agreed to bequeath it to 
Rhodes in his will, Rhodes, on his side, to leave 
him £6,000 in his. Whichever outHved the other 
was to have the legacy, and so the fourth clause of 
Rhodes's will reads : " I give the sum of £6,000 to 
Kahn of Paris, and I direct this legacy to be paid 
free of all duty whatsoever." 

In the dining-room was a piece of tapestry 
representing some allegorical subject, and there 
was another in the billiard-room. I understood 
that there were four in the set, intended to 
represent the continents. 


j'k The dining-room was lighted by candles in 
massive silver candlesticks placed on the dining 
table, the only other lights being small electric 
lights in brackets on the walls, and the effect of 
the subdued light on the teak rafters and panelling 
was pleasing. 

One night at dinner Rhodes spoke of the table, 
and hfted the cloth to show the wood. He then 
suggested taking the cloth off, and remarked that 
he believed it was the fashion in many houses to 
remove the cloth with the advent of dessert 
and port. 

I interjected a remark, and he scowled and said, 
** Oh, I suppose you'll say youVe often seen 
it done." 

" No," I replied ; " what I was going to say was 
that whether it is the fashion or not, it would be 
nice to see the reflection of the silver candlesticks 
and bon-bon dishes on the polished surface of the 

" He's perfectly right," said he immediately in 
his falsetto voice. " It doesn't matter tuppence if 
it's the usual thing or not so long as the effect is 
pleasing. That's the point — the pleasing effect. 
Of course he's right." And he at once had the 
cloth removed, to the servants' dismay as they 
thought of the scratches and probably burns on 
the surface of the table. 

On the front stoep of Groote Schuur were two 
small cannon, which were found in the Matoppos ; 
one of them, having the Portuguese arms on it, 
gives clear evidence that a Portuguese expedition 
penetrated far into South Africa, probably in 

SoAPSTONE Bird from Zimbabye Ruixs. 


1 897] THE FLAGS 267 

search of the Kingdom of Monomotapa and its 
reputed riches. 

In the smoking-room, known as the hbrary, two 
flags hung on the wall — one the Portuguese 
Standard captured at Ma9equece in 1891, and the 
other a battered Union Jack carried by Jameson's 
column into Matabeleland in 1893. 

In this room there used to stand a large soap- 
stone bird credited with being of Phoenician origin, 
and found in the course of excavations at Zim- 
babye. There were also a small similar copper 
bird of better workmanship and neater design, and 
many soapstone emblems of phallic worship, with 
tacks and sheets of gold, with which precious metal 
the temple at Zimbabye was said to have been 
plated. The soapstone bird Rhodes had set up 
in the committee-room of the Cape Executive 
Council, in order that members might, in their 
deliberations, "realize their puniness when they 
contemplated that emblem of antiquity." 

The posts on the staircase were surmounted by 
copies of the bird in teak, and the rain-water 
spouts on the upper walls were also copies. 

A cabinet also contained the gold retort found 
at Inyanga, a few other curios, and some old 
snuiF-boxes of not much intrinsic value, which had 
been presented to him by friends. I think the 
only piece of really good old silver he possessed 
was given to him by the late Richard (** Dick ") 
Chamberlain, brother of Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, 
who was an ardent collector of old silver. Rhodes 
was, however, rather proud of a gold butter-dish 
(which was in daily use), which was said to 


have belonged to Charles I. of England, and 
was surmounted by a royal crown and the 
initials C.R. 

There was also a large silver snuff-box in the 
shape of an elephant, given by the directors of 
the Tati Concession to Lo Bengula, and found in 
Bulawayo on its occupation in 1893. Lo Bengula 
adopted an elephant as his seal, and his signet-ring 
was also found in burning Bulawayo by Garlick, 
servant to Dr. Jameson. 

At luncheon and dinner Rhodes used little 
coffee-cups and saucers (of which he had a whole 
service) of various fancy designs. They were 
made of very fine china, and covered by a secret 
process with dull beaten gold, which made them 
rather heavy and retained the heat. They were 
not, however, as Sir Thomas Fuller says, made 
in a monastery, but, alas for the romance, 
" made in America." They are manufactured 
from a patent held by two old ladies in Wash- 
ington, U.S.A., from whom I obtained some 
for Lady Howe and her sister, Lady Sarah 

Another object of interest in the library was a 
small oak table, which was carved for Rhodes by 
the Royal Children at Sandringham, and presented 
to Rhodes by Her late Majesty Queen Victoria. 
On returning from up country once Rhodes missed 
the little table, and at once inquired for it. He 
was told that Mr. Currey, his agent, had had it 
removed to Kipling's house, " The Woolsack." 
Rhodes immediately put on his hat, and, walking 
over to " The Woolsack," returned carrying the 

1 897] " BOBBY'' BURNS'S STATUE 259 

table, which he replaced in the library, saying, 
** That's mine. It's my table. I want it here." 

I must mention the large wooden dish which 
was also in the library. It, too, was found at 
Zimbabye, unfortunately partly destroyed by 
white ants ; but all things considered, it is in very 
good repair, and the signs of the Zodiac carved 
round its rim are easily decipherable. 

There was no piano in the house, except in the 
servants' quarters, but in the drawing-room stood an 
old-fashioned five-octave spinet, which Rhodes had 
had copied from one he had seen somewhere. I 
brought out a fine Edison phonograph for him once 
for Groote Schuur, but I don't think it was ever used. 

In the drawing-room was a bronze of Robert 
Burns. Rhodes took a great fancy to this when 
he first saw it, and purchased it, together with 
the plaster model, so that no one should obtain 
a duplicate of it. He was fond of asking visitors 
to guess who it was, and said that as soon as 
he saw it he knew it was Burns thinking over 
his poetry " amongst the cabbages." 

Rhodes had rather a nice collection of glass in a 
cabinet in the dining-room, including one or two 
old Dutch pokaals (flagons), on which the coats-of- 
arms of the past owners were engrossed. After 
Rhodes's death, however, some of these were 
claimed by, and returned to, those who had given 
them to Rhodes, as they said they intended the 
gifts for him and not for any future Prime 
Ministers of any federated states. 

Rhodes's bedroom contained only the ordinary 
furniture, severe in simplicity, and on the walls 


were a portrait of Bismarck and a photograph 
of a very old native woman, one of UmziHgazi's 
wives. She was one of the principal intermedi- 
aries between Rhodes and the Matabele rebels 
during the peace negotiations at the historic 
Matoppo indaba.^ 

In the billiard-room hung two flags — one a small 
Union Jack with the Moslem crescent and star, 
carried by General Gordon on the Nile, and the 
other a large Union Jack, which was taken by 
Mr. E. S. Grogan from Cape Town to Cairo. 

Mr. Grogan was an Oxford undergraduate, who 
started out to walk from Cape Town to Cairo 
in the long vacation, and accomplished the trip, 
though it took him two years. Rhodes afterwards 
wrote an introduction to his book. 

A few women, wives of the servants, formerly 
lived on the premises, and Tony's wife was cook, 
but the breath of scandal caused Rhodes to clear 
every woman, white and coloured, off the place, 
and none but men-servants were employed. 

In the grounds a number of Matabele, who 
came down as servants to Lo Bengula's three sons, 
used to work, the sons, N'jube, M'peseni, and 
Ngongubela being sent to a college for natives. 

One of these natives was always flush of money, 
and on his being watched it was found that he 
had brought his war-dress with him, and that when 
opportunity offered he used to don it and dance 

^ Inddba, lit. a tongue, comes to mean a meeting for discussion, 
and is used in the same way as Durbar or pala\'er. In kitchen Kaffir 
it is used to mean a matter, as in '^ What is the indaba?" — i.e. 
matter, or, ^' Why all this indaba?" — i.e. trouble, '^That's not your 
indaba " — i.e. business. 


in the garden for the edification and coppers of 

N jube and his brothers often used to come to 
Groote Schuur to spend the day, and Rhodes took 
great pleasure in talking to them; and to hear the 
erstwhile young savages spouting Virgil and talking 
of matriculating gave one to think. 

Rhodes was very fond of telhng a story of 
N'jube. Rhodes had promised to take him up to see 
his mother in Bulawayo, and N'jube was delighted ; 
but " I told him," said Rhodes, " ' Now, N'jube, 
if you come up with me I must have no nonsense 
about your being a king. You will have to help 
Tony and wash the plates and clean my boots.' 
* Yes, sir, I understand,' " replied N'jube. The 
day before they were to start the head gardener 
came to Rhodes and said that N'jube had taken 
away two of the garden boys. N'jube was sent 
for, and explained, in the most natural way, that 
all he had done was to take away two of his 
own slaves to come and wash the plates and clean 
the boots. Rhodes flew into a rage, and said he 
would punish him by not taking him to Bulawayo. 
"N'jube then cast himself at my feet," said 
Rhodes, and said, ' Oh, sir, do forgive me.' " 

In 1898 a young reigning Sultan came to see 
Groote Schuur. He was accompanied by a mis- 
sionary, who acted as interpreter. 

Rhodes told me to show the young fellow round. 
It was the first time I had ever been asked to act 
as cicerone to one 1 looked on as a nigger, and very 
much resented it, but I bethought me of N'jube 
and his brothers, who were spending the day at 


Groote Schuur, and took the Sultan down to the 
stable-yard with his guardian. N'jube and the 
others were there fraternizing with their " slaves," 
and I called N'jube up and introduced him to the 
Sultan, saying to the latter, '* Here is the king of 
all the Matabele. I think you ought to be friends," 
and so left them, the missionary man being too 
amazed to say anything. The Sultan had a mag- 
nificent diamond solitaire ring on. I hope he got 
safely away with it. 

The estate was at different times in charge of 
various stewards. J. Norris, whose name will be 
familiar to many old habitues of Groote Schuur, 
and did yeoman service towards its making, came 
to Rhodes from the Inniskilling Dragoons. Being 
threatened with lung trouble, however, Rhodes 
established him on a farm at Inyanga, where he 
thrives to-day. He also left him an annuity of £100. 

E. G. B. Carter, distinguished by indefatigable 
energy and unfailing courtesy, came from the Hat- 
field Estate. When he first asked Rhodes for 
employment, he was sent in a moment of grim 
humour to join a number of native women engaged 
in weeding the paddocks ; but this was Rhodes's 
idea of trying a man. After a few days Carter 
was moved down to the house, and in a very short 
time became head steward — a position of trust 
and responsibility, but apt to produce an attack 
of tete montee. 

The house was not very large, and when half a 
dozen male guests and their " gentleman's gentle- 
men" were staying there accommodation was 
strained to its limits. 

1898] A '^ SAMPLE" OF ALE 263 

It was an expensive place to keep up, and when 
occupied the expenditure amounted to £2,000 a 
month, reduced to about £400 when empty. 

The valets were much more difficult to deal with 
than the guests. In fact, the servants' hall nearly 
always had some excitement to provide for the 
secretary, under whose direction the household 
affairs were conducted. 

The valets and chauffeurs had access to nearly 
everything, and the servants' hall vied with the 

Beer they would have none of, and when whisky- 
and-soda was supplied them they made a strong 
protest against the locally made soda and demanded 
Schweppe's. They also found the whisky of poor 
quality, and perhaps this was excusable, as several 
buckets of distilled water had been added to one of 
the casks. Two casks were always kept going, 
one being filled up from the other. 

Rhodes did not spend much in stocking his 
cellar. He had, however, acquired by gift some 
very fine '91 and '93 Rudesheimer, Mouton Roths- 
child of '78, and '54 Port. 

A distinguished brewer, who shall be nameless, 
sent him a couple of dozen very old and very 
strong ale. It was almost as dark as port, and 
is usually drunk in wineglasses as a liqueur. 
Rhodes, however, having quaffed a flagon of it, 
found it much to his liking, and wrote and thanked 
the donor ybr the sample of excellent ale sent to 
him and placed an order for one hundred dozen. 
The brewer replied that he was very pleased that 
Rhodes liked the ale, and added that he intended 


the two dozen as a Christmas gift, it being ale that 
he only brewed for friends ; but that, as Rhodes 
evidently appreciated it so highly, he begged his 
acceptance of the one hundred dozen which he had 
ordered to be shipped to Groote Schuur. 

The ale was very heady stuff, and Rhodes used 
to delight in getting some guest to drink a bottle 
of it at lunch, as it was morally certain that the 
guest would fall asleep after lunch under its 

During 1896 and 1897 an extraordinary number 
of acts of vandalism were committed at Groote 
Schuur — put down to the scum of the supporters of 
Rhodes's opponents. 

When Rhodes returned from the north in 1898 
no less than nineteen fires had been started, and, 
fortunately, extinguished, on the estate ; nests of 
eggs of valuable golden and other pheasants 
were smashed, and one night part of the aviary 
was saturated with paraffin and set fire to. 
An attempt was made to liberate the lions, the 
bars of the cage being found bent to a width 
nearly sufficient to enable the lions to escape. 
Fifteen kangaroos, eighteen ostriches and emus, 
and a number of other animals were killed in the 
paddocks by being knocked over the head with 
knobkerries,^ while 1,800 young camphor and 
oak-trees, which Rhodes had planted in avenues 
for the benefit of future generations, were de- 
stroyed by simply being broken in half. None 

^ Knobkerrie — a short stout stick with a round head the size of a 
cricket ball, used by natives for striking and also for throwing. A 
good man can throw one as far as an assegai (spear) — i.e. one hundred 
and fifty yards. 


of the perpetrators of these outrages were ever 

The grounds were closed to the pubhc for some 
time after the outbreak of rinderpest at the Cape, 
and in reopening them in 1898 Rhodes drew 
attention in the local press to the vandalism, and 
pathetically asked " the public once again to 
become guardians of the house and grounds." 



A " Dutchman " is ordinarily regarded as a native 
of Holland, but in South Africa to-day a large 
proportion of families who are called Dutch trace 
their descent from other than Dutch ancestors. 

Some are, of course, descended from the Dutch 
of Holland who settled in South Africa under the 
Dutch East India Company or the rule of the 
Batavian Government ; but the majority of the 
better-class families who call themselves " Dutch- 
men " to-day are descendants of French Huguenots 
or imigres. There is a fair mixture of other 
nationalities ; thus amongst those who speak 
nothing but the " taal " are Murrays, Macdonalds, 
Erasers, Haydens, and there are Murphys who 
claim Paul Kruger as a great-uncle. 

The majority of the Huguenot settlers came out 
between 1685 and 1690, after the revocation of the 
Edict of Nantes. Many escaped in disguise to 
Holland, England, America, and the Channel Isles ; 
but a refuge having been offered to them at the Cape 
by the directors of the Dutch East India Company, 
many decided to avail themselves of it and emi- 
grated. They settled mainly in the wine and fruit 


i685] THE HUGUENOTS 267 

districts from Stellenbosch to Worcester, where, 
however, Uttle trace of them survives, except in the 
names of farms such as Champagne, La Provence, 
La Motte, Languedoc, Normandie, etc. Those who 
came from wine districts disguised themselves as 
peasants, vine-dressers, and so on ; others from other 
parts of Normandy, such as Bayeux, carrying the 
leathern aprons and hammers of tapestry-hangers, 
and some of these are preserved as relics to this day. 

On arrival at the Cape the majority of them 
destroyed family papers, and, in fact, cut all ties 
joining them to France. The closest tie of all, 
that of language, was severed by order of the 
Dutch East India Company, who forbade the 
Huguenots to speak French or even to hold their 
religious services in their own tongue, and to-day 
the beautiful language of France is, to the Boer, 
as comprehensible as ancient Greek. As for their 
names, many have been woefully corrupted ; thus 
De Villiers is pronounced Filjee, Cilliers is pro- 
nounced Ciljie, and often spelled Cillie. Theroud 
has become Theron, and Villon, Viljoen, while 
La Grange has taken the monstrous shape of 
Lagranzie. These are the " Dutch " of South 
Africa to-day, with so much '' Dutch " about them 
that not one in ten if addressed in pure or High 
Dutch of Holland would be quite sure he was 
not listening to Hebrew. 

The "Cape Dutchman," or, as 1 prefer to call 
them, the South Africans, are to-day divided into 
two great classes, and a fairer comparison cannot 
be taken than the people of Ireland and their 
division into Nationalists and anti-Home Rulers. 


The country and people are divided on racial 
lines, but against the great Nationalist Party, 
organized by the now happily defunct " Afrikander 
Bond," whose creed is "Afrikafor the Afrikanders," 
is ranged a large section with strong Imperial and 
closer Union sympathies, but lacking organization. 

Many South Africans are proud of calling them- 
selves Africanders (op-regte^) for choice, but many 
others are seriously offended at the name. " Afri- 
kander," truly applied, designates the bastards 
and the half-castes 6r descendants of the slaves 
and Hottentots with European blood in them. 
" Afrikander " is amongst them taken to mean 
" Bruine-mensch," or brown person, and the term 
was originally used to distinguish aboriginals and 
coloured from the whites, whom they called 
"Ullaners," a corruption of Hollanders, which in 
the days of Dutch occupation included all white 
men. A species of gladiolus which grows wild in 
the Cape Peninsula and is of a brown colour is 
known as an " Afrikander." A very large number 
of the old Cape famiHes have a taint of Hottentot 
or Mozambique blood in them, and the average 
South African has as much horror of this taint 
as any southern gentleman in the United States of 
America. Many a furtive glance have I seen cast 
at tell-tale finger-nails, the blue tinge in which 
betrays the existence of the dash of the " tar-brush." 

Cecil Rhodes was fond of South Africans, and 
many of those intimately associated with him were of 

^ Op-regte, lit. upright. Honourable does not supply the meaning. 
It is used in the sense of staunch, genuine, loyal, true, patriotic. It does 
not necessarily imply honesty, for instance. A horse-thief may be a 
most op-regte Africander. 

1898] THE TAR-BRUSH 269 

South African birth. Pickering, Currey, Van der 
Byl, Lange, Coryndon, Grimmer, Jourdan, and I 
were all born in South Africa. "Your South Afri- 
cans are all right," he would say, " but you want to 
be careful ; the So-and-sos are all right, the So-and- 
sos and the So-and-sos (mentioning the names of 
different families), but when you get the black 
blood, then look out." 

The half-castes who claim descent on the outer 
side of the blanket from the early settlers and their 
slaves used to take the names of the families to 
whom they belonged, just as many of the liberated 
slaves did — and thus during the War Louis Cloete, 
of Alphen, as a joke had himself photographed 
with four other Cloetes, who were all coloured in 
different shades, from the peppercorn-headed 
Hottentot to the light coffee-coloured Cape boy. 

The late Colonel Schermbrucker, in the Cape 
House of Assembly, once administered a severe 
verbal castigation to a certain member of the Bond 
Party who was " tainted," and who had bitterly 
attacked the Progressive Party. In replying 
Colonel Schermbrucker said that he was in the 
debt of the honourable member and proposed to 
pay him capital and interest. Then, having made 
his point, he said, "That, Mr. Speaker, is the 
capital." Then he went on, " Mr. Speaker, the 
hon. member said in his speech that he did not 
know where the Imperialists came from. Some, 
he believed, were imported from Germany — refer- 
ring to me. Well, I am a Bavarian, Mr. Speaker, 
and am proud of it, and, moreover, I look back 
through fourteen generations of my ancestors and 


I find nothing but pure Teutonic blood, and," he 
thundered out at the unfortunate member, " dot is 
der interest," and he sat down in a House in which 
you might have heard a pin drop. 

When the Africander Bond was first constituted, 
its avowed object was the foundation of a United 
South Africa and the building up of a great South 
African nation. In earlier days it is true that a 
separate flag was aimed at, but it is only fair to 
state that for many years its declared policy was 
the preservation intact of South Africa as an 
integral portion of the Empire. 

Rhodes undoubtedly used the political power of 
the Bond, and the Bond was the party that put him 
into power. After Rhodes's fall, however, the 
sympathy evinced by the Bond for Kruger and his 
coterie of Hollanders caused it to become a mighty 
weapon in the hands of that astute intriguer. 
Dr. Leyds. 

Rhodes often said he had no quarrel with the 
Dutch ; his quarrel was with Krugerism and all it 
meant, and that was, when boiled down, nothing 
more or less than the destruction of British supre- 
macy in South Africa. Kruger was an ambitious 
man, and his ambition was fed by his ill-chosen 
advisers, through whose machinations he persisted 
until he had thrown away the independence so 
highly valued by his people, and dragged the Orange 
Free State with him into the melting-pot. RJiodes 
always accused Kruger of filibustering, and quoted : 

(1) The raid into Mankoroane's territory in 
Bechuanaland, under Van Niekerk and Piet Joubert, 
when the Republics of Stellaland and Goshen were 


established under Kruger's protection ; (2) Kruger's 
attempt to annex Swaziland ; (3) Ferreira's raid 
into Rhodesia ; and (4) Kruger's advances to Lo 
Bengula. He did, however, admire the old Voor- 
trekkers' spirit, and he fully appreciated their value 
as pioneers, and he welcomed them as such. The 
roving spirit and dislike of authority caused the ex- 
odus from the old Cape Colony of the Voortrekkers, 
who, impatient under the British control ever since 
the emancipation of their slaves on December 1, 
1835, compensation for which was only payable in 
England, trekked north and founded the Transvaal ; 
and the same roving spirit and love of adventure 
extant in them made Rhodes select them as 
pioneers and settlers. 

In 1884 he, against the wishes of Sir Charles 
Warren, insisted on the Dutch filibusters getting 
title to the farms they had jumped in Mankoroane's 
territory. In 1889 the columns of occupation of 
Mashonaland contained a large number of South 
Africans, while a separate trek was brought up by 
Laurence van der Byl. In 1891 the filibusters, 
under Ferreira, who tried to rush across the Lim- 
popo, were allowed to settle on farms at Enkeldoorn 
instead of being driven out. In 1892 a Dutch 
trek of about seventy were sent as pioneers to 
occupy Gazaland, where they founded Melsetter. 

In the Matabele wars of 1893 and 1896 the 
" Afrikander " Corps, under Raaf and Van Niekerk, 
did yeoman service ; and in 1897 Rhodes despatched 
another Dutch trek to Lake ^'gami. Even to- 
day the " Dutchman " is welcomed as a settler in 
Rhodesia, though he is often of the type who, when 


asked which district he would prefer, inquires, 
" Waar is de meeste wild ? " (" Where is the most 
game ? ") 

The ordinary rank and file of the Bond 
followers are ignorant and illiterate, and blindly 
follow their leaders, and have as fond a faith in 
their predicants (priests) as the Irish peasantry, and 
the leaders are well aware that their ignorance is 
an asset in control to them, and they have as much 
interest in keeping them ignorant as the Russian 
authorities have in keeping their mujiks from 
thinking for themselves. They are strongly bound 
together by the strong tie of language. They are 
encouraged to use a bastard dialect — the Taal — 
which has no merit beyond its wide range of 
expletives culled from Dutch, French, Portuguese, 
and Malay. The Bantu has none, or those would 
have been borrowed too to add to the vocabulary 
of emphatics. 

The tie of language has always been a strong 
one, and it is inevitable that bilingualism (or 
Hertzogism, as it is now called), to which Rhodes 
was always opposed, and which he declared was 
inimical to the best interests of the country, will 
have a retrogressive effect in South Africa. 

As individuals Rhodes liked the Dutch South 
Africans, whom he referred to as " Nature's gentle- 
men." *' I like the Dutch," said he — " I mean 
the Dutch as I know them. I do not mean your 
van Wyks. The man howled at me and wanted 
to have 50,000 EngHshmen for breakfast. That is 
not the Dutch as I know them." 

The late Colonel Warren had said in a speech 

1897] 1*^^ SALT OF THE EARTH 2l^ 

that if he were given 10,000 men he could walk 
through the Transvaal, and no doubt he could 
have then ; but van Wyk, in replying, said that 
" 50,000 Englishmen would be a breakfast for the 
Transvaal ! " And it was to this Rhodes was 

He used to tell a story of van Wyk, who, he 
said, after he had used his persuasive powers on 
him for some time, got up and said, " It's no use, 
Mr. Rhodes ; at any rate you can't deny that we 
(meaning the Dutch of South Africa) are the Salt 
of the Earth." " I'd like to know," Rhodes would 
say in telhng the story, " where the devil I came 
in." And this from one of the supposed en- 
lightened ones ruling the destinies of a great 
country. Is it a wonder that Sir Gordon Sprigg 
called them " demons of ignorance and prejudice " ? 

It is nothing unusual, however, to expect from 
people who refuse to destroy locusts, for instance, 
because it would be sinful to attempt to stay the 
hand of the Almighty, by whom the visitation was 
sent. The ordinary Dutchman is fully imbued 
with the idea that the Boers are the chosen people 
of God, and many are extremely angry on being 
contradicted. The late James Leonard used to tell 
a story of a Boer who quoted the Old Testament 
to prove that the natural destiny of the natives was 
to be for all time hewers of wood and drawers of 
water for the Boers. Nearly every Boer holds this 
wholesome doctrine. 

Sir Thomas Fuller refers to Rhodes's saying that 
he was delighted when van der Walt said in the 
House of Assembly that the one thing he was 


hoping for was to see Tengo Jabavu ^ sitting side 
by side with him in the House. He adds that 
Rhodes was glad to hear a typical Boer member 
express a desire to have a native in the House. 
It is astonishing to think that Sir Thomas Fuller 
believed that Rhodes took van der Walt seriously, 
though it might have suited him to pretend to do 
so at the time he spoke. Rhodes knew his typical 
Boer member too well not to see the sarcasm, nor 
to know that had it been made seriously Mr. van 
der Walt had little hope of having his wish to see 
Jabavu at his side realized, for he would not long 
have remained a member himself. 

Nearly all the Dutch who met Rhodes liked him 
personally. Many who were strongly opposed to 
him politically used to come and see him at Groote 
Schuur, and Rhodes enjoyed talking to them. Just 
before the outbreak of the Boer War one Dutch 
woman wired to him from the Transvaal begging 
him not to risk his life and safety in Kimberley. 
Another old Dutchman in the Cape Colony was 
asked by a friend who was going up to Groote 
Schuur whether he had any message for Rhodes. 
" Yes," he repHed in Dutch ; " tell Mr. Rhodes that 
if every Englishman were like him I would not 
mind being an Englishman myself; but," he added, 
" hij moet niet hier met zij verdomde Brandziekte 
wet kom " (he must not come here with his con- 
founded Scab Act). 

If I know anything of my countrymen, their 
national traits are essentially suspiciousness and 

* Teugo Jabavu — an educated native, who is editor of a native 

1897] BOER "SIMPLICITY" 275 

slimness (cunning). In every proposition made 
they will suspect some trap, and in every offer an 
ulterior motive, and in all their negotiations they 
will endeavour to leave a loophole, just for eventu- 
alities. We hear a lot about the " simple Boer," 
but in most instances he can, with the help of the 
cunning he possesses in such marked degree as 
almost to amount to brilliance of intellect, hold his 
own; and a more striking instance could not be 
given than the late President S. J. P. Kruger. 

The following is a characteristic Kruger story : 
A farmer, dying, left his farm to be divided equally 
between his two sons. On the farm was a perennial 
spring which both coveted, and the brothers could 
not come to an agreement. 

They decided to appeal to Kruger, and on their 
doing so the President asked for a plan of the farm. 
He looked at it, and then handed it to the elder 
brother, telling him to draw a line, making what he 
considered was a fair division of the farm. 

The elder brother did so, not without misgiving, 
as he felt he was going to be " had " somehow, 
though he did not see how. 

He handed back the plan to Kruger after making 
the division, and the President asked him whether 
he was satisfied with the division. He replied in 
the affirmative. " You consider this a fair division? " 
asked Kruger. "Yes, President," answered the elder 
brother doubtfully. " Very well, then," Kruger 
replied, and handing the plan to the younger son 
said to him, " Now, you take your choice." 

The simplicity of the Boer is about on a par 
with that of Bret Harte's Heathen Chinee, and he, 


276 RHODES AND THE DUTCH [ch. xii 

too, can be "childlike and bland, and the sa; 
with intent to deceive." 

It is generally considered that the happily accom' 
plished union of the South African States is but the 
first step towards the blending of the two white races 
in South Africa. Racialism, however, dies hard, and 
as the political parties have divided in the past on 
racial lines, no matter what veneer they carried, so 
I believe for many a decade the opposing political 
forces at the Cape will be the Britisher who stands 
for Imperialism as against the back- veld Boer and 
his ideal of a South African nation, and the prin- 
cipal factor keeping racialism alive is bilingualism. 

The bastard dialect known as the " Taal," 
though useless from a literary and commercial 
point of view, yet has a sentimental value in the 
eyes of those who are brought up in it, and to 
whom it has been the medium of education, and 
its use tends to throw and bind them together. 

A real obstacle to the natural blending of the 
white races in South Africa has been removed in 
the dispersal of the organization known as the 
Afrikander Bond. 

Union having been brought about, the avowed 
object for which the Bond existed was accom- 
plished, and no valid reason could be adduced for 
its continuance as a political organization except to 
keep racialism alive. Its very existence tended to 
defeat the object for which the leaders averred that 
they were working — ie, the formation of a South 
African nation composed of a blend of both races, 
as it was looked upon by both as a race organiza- 
tion, and tended to bind together, by the ties of 


language and false patriotism, one race to the 
exclusion of the other. Not long after the War I 
heard a South African, now holding an important 
position in England under the Union Government, 
speak in Dutch at a meeting of farmers in the 
Cape Colony, and describe the Liberal Party in 
England as the "English Bond Party." "Now 
you can unite," said he. "The English Bond 
Party, in sympathy with the Africander Bond, 
is now in power, and we have finished with Cham- 
berlain and his party, who caused the War." 

It is amongst the rank and file of the Bond 
supporters that the danger lies ; the enlightened 
section are doubtless sincere enough in their pro- 
fessions of loyalty, General Botha going so far as 
to declare that no portion of the Empire was more 
loyal than the South Africa of to-day. 

Be this as it may, and while race feeling as race 
feeling is declared to be practically dead, a solemn 
farce is being enacted in the Union by the pandering 
of the enlightened leaders of the Nationalist Party 
to their unintelligent and bigoted followers in the 
matter of the use of the Taal. 

Amongst these monuments of stubborn ignor- 
ance the hope that the Taal may be forced into 
universal use in South Africa is a very live one, 
and it would be hard to persuade them that they 
are pursuing a chimaera. 

General Hertzog has been described as the 
apostle of Afrikanderdom. Supported by ex-Presi- 
dent Steyn and General Christiaan de Wet, he is to 
the back- veld Boer the inheritor of the Afrikander 
tradition, the wearer of the mantle of Kruger. 


General Botha, from the formation of his first 
cabinet, consistently preached conciliation between 
the two races, but this by no means coincided with 
General Hertzog's views. He strongly condemned 
that policy, and speaking as representative of the 
Government gave utterance to views which were 
certainly not held by the Prime Minister nor his 
colleagues. He, moreover, opposed strenuously the 
immigration advocated by General Botha, stating 
emphatically that he would "first of all assist the tens 
of thousands now in the country to get on the land 
before he would assist one single man from outside." 

An impossible situation was created, for, as 
General Botha stated, "the Government seemed 
to speak with two voices." 

General Hertzog, despite the differences between 
himself as leader of the ignorant back-velders and 
General Botha, supported by the more enlightened 
section of the South African Party, showed no 
inclination to resign his portfolio, and nothing 
remained for General Botha but to dissolve the 
Government by his own resignation. 

General Botha then formed his second cabinet, 
leaving General Hertzog out to stump the country 
on his claim for the paramountcy of the " Op-regte 
Afrikander " and the Taal which he would force 
down the throat of every one in the country. 

The ideal of the English-speaking section of a 
great South Africa as a member of the partner- 
ship of nations forming the British Empire is as 
dear to that section as the paramountcy of the 
Afrikander is to the back-velder. Organization is, 
however, lacking. 


The insistence of the Dutch-speaking section on 
the universal use of the Taal is a breach of the 
bargain concluded at the National Convention for 
" equal rights for both languages." 

The claim for everything to be printed in both 
languages costs the country an enormous sum, 
while railway-station and public-office notices are 
posted in both — the ," Dutch " being often more 
puzzling to the Boer than to the Briton. 

Some of the notices are farcical : ** Turf Klub " 
is given as the Dutch for Turf Club, "Sports 
Klub" for Sporting Club, "Pony en Galloway 
Klub" for Pony and Galloway Club, while an 
attempt is even made to translate the names of 
places and men, such as Oost-Londen for East- 
London and " Blij-Klip " for Gladstone. 

It is, however, in the statute-book that the 
result of bilingualism is to be feared ; and wide 
discrepancies have already been found between the 
English and Dutch versions of some of the Acts of 

So far Rhodesia is not affected, but if a cogent 
reason exists why Rhodesians will strenuously 
oppose inclusion in the Union of South Africa it 
is the use of the Taal. Rhodesians will have none 
of it, and if it is to be forced upon the English- 
speaking inhabitants of South Africa Rhodesians 
will retaliate by insisting upon the use of English 
and English only, and their destiny will be by 
every means in their power to avoid inclusion in 
the United States of South Africa until they can 
come in with sufficient strength to restore the 
British balance. 


rhodes's daily life 

On the Veld 

Rhodes lived on the veld. He was always happiest 
when in camp with the miles of trackless veld 
around him. The actual trekking did not appeal 
to him overmuch, but he enjoyed being out far 
from the busy hum of cities and the petty annoy- 
ances to which he was subject in the congregations 
of men. 

He slept better under kaross or sheepskin on the 
hard ground or the seats of his wagonette than he 
did at home, and displayed a healthier appetite at 
the little camp-table in the shade of a mopani tree 
than he did at home. It was rest for him — rest 
which he often sorely needed, and which he 
certainly appreciated to the full. 

When trekking, he usually had a travelling 
wagonette in which he and his guests drove, and 
another which was occupied by his invaluable 
Tony de la Cruz, who was valet, cook, and barber 
combined. This second wagonette carried the 
cooking outfit, provisions, and stores. As a rule, 
too, Rhodes had one or two riding-horses with the 


1 897] A HORSE DEAL 281 

caravan, and in this case he would ride the greater 
part of the day. 

On one occasion on the old Hunters* Road we 
were within a day's journey of Bulawayo, and we 
passed a man with a drove of horses, amongst 
which was a fine-looking chestnut. Rhodes put his 
head out of the wagonette and shouted, " That's 
my horse. That's the one 1 want." We stopped, 
and the horse was saddled. Rhodes inquired the 
price, and was told £125. "Is he salted?"^ he 
inquired. " Oh, yes," was the reply. ** I'll give 
you a twelve months' guarantee with him." The 
bargain was closed, and Rhodes rode oiF on the 
horse. He died of horse-sickness within a month. 

I saw the " Coper " years afterwards, and we 
spoke of the deal. He laughed and said, ** Well, 
I knew nothing about the horse ; I'd only had him 
six weeks." 

Rhodes was very particular about his camping- 
ground, and used to choose the spot for a camp 
himself, as far as possible from where any other 
wagon had camped. 

" I insist on having a clean camp," he said once to 
a friend. " Grimmer and le Sueur, of course, would 
simply revel in the dust and dirt of an old outspan ; 
and so / always choose the place for an outspan." 

^ Salted. — After a horse has had horse-sickness, which used to carry 
off about 99 per cent, of the horses in Rhodesia, he is said to be 
" salted," and is very unlikely to get it again. He enhances very 
much in value, despite the fact that the salting process takes all the 
spirit out of them, ruins their paces, and makes stumblers of them. 

It is usual in buying a horse alleged to be salted to demand a twelve 
months' guarantee, and these are freely given on the otf-chance of the 
horse living for twelve months, although these guarantees are legally 
not worth the paper they are written on. 

282 RHODES'S DAILY LIFE [ch. xiii 

" You can always tell a police camp," he used to 
say, " by the empty tins and bottles scattered about. 
Oh, I can just picture them with the basins half 
full of soapy water dotted with dead flies, and 
shelves of tins and bottles half full of jam and 

If, of necessity (lack of water or anything of that 
sort), we had to camp near one of the coaching- 
stables, he would make the drivers pull off at least 
half a mile from the stables and well off the road. 

All along the road there were trading stores, 
and they were built at the coach-stations. Rhodes 
seldom went near them ; but one day he walked 
into one, and greeted the proprietor with, " Well, 
and how are you getting on ? " 

The storekeeper, none too affably, replied, " How 
do you expect us to get on when people like you, 
who can afford to spend money, carry your own 
stores and never come near us." 

Rhodes just gave his little whine, and after con- 
sultation with Tony bought up the whole of the 
storekeeper's stock, to the latter's delight. This, 
however, was changed to perplexity a short while 
afterwards, when some people passing through 
required some stores and the storekeeper had 
nothing to sell them. He had to approach 
" the Old Man " then, and buy some of the stuff 
back to supply his customers. 

All along the route after that Rhodes made it a 
point to stop at every store, and told me to go 
in and spend some money. It was free drinks 
galore for every idler round the stores after that. 

At one store, however, Rhodes received a shock. 

1897] POLO ON THE VELD 283 

The wagonette had broken down. Tony had run 
out of fresh meat, and as the store looked nice and 
clean Rhodes decided to spend the night there. 

We (three of us) went in to dine. We had the 
ordinary store dinner — a tough beefsteak and a 
few tinned things, with two bottles of champagne 
and two of stout ; and we were provided with clean 
beds and breakfast. Then I was presented with 
the bill. It amounted to £18. Rhodes never went 
near the place again. 

Some of these storekeepers had been in vastly 
different paths of life. At one place the pro- 
prietor was an old man with a splendid little 
library, and with the whole air of a scholar. He 
was a garrulous old man, and quoted yards of 
Shakespeare to us, and we left him feeling rather 

At another lonely store, on top of a hill, we 
found the scion of a noble house all alone — not 
even a nigger piccanin near. This sportsman was 
careering about on a donkey, playing polo with a 
condensed milk-tin and a stick he had fashioned out 
of a broom-handle. I called out to him, and as he 
went on with his game he shouted out, " All right : 
go in and help yourselves. I'm busy." 

They did not last long — these gentlemen of the 
road. The loneliness, palliated only by the passing 
of the coach twice a week, led to overdoses of 
whisky, or, worse still, bottles of chlorodyne and 
so on to morphia. 

The police at the little outlying stations were 
in almost as bad case. They seldom or never had 
horses or anything to ride, and had to pass the time 

284 RHODES'S DAILY LIFE [ch. xiii 

wandering round their dusty camps, hating and 
loathing the sight of one another more and more 
every day, as is always the case when two or three 
men are immured together, the only break in their 
day often being the call to their bully-beef and 

I remember passing an outpost in the Matoppos 
once where there were a sergeant and twelve men — 
quite a big post — and when 1 returned that way 
three months later I saw the graves of eleven of 

"Die? Of course they'll die," said Rhodes 
once, ** as long as they lie on their backs and read 
* Tit-Bits.'" 

Rhodes never travelled very fast, unless there 
was some particular reason for doing so. We 
usually got away very early in the morning, 
and camped for breakfast. Then another trek 
until about eleven, when we'd camp again, and not 
go on until about three, when we'd trek until sun- 
down, and camp for dinner and the night. 

On the veld Rhodes shaved regularly every 
morning, and then solemnly walked off and buried 
the paper he had used to wipe the razor on. " I 
believe I should shave if I were dying," he said. 

A bucketful of water was also kept for him, even 
when water was very scarce. This was heated, and 
he was able to have a sort of bath with the aid of 
a big sponge. I often had to be content with a 
pannikin of water with which to perform ablutions. 

" Grimmer and le Sueur hate water," he said to 
a lady in London once. " I don't believe they'd 
wash at all if I didn't make them," 


We exacted vengeance for this, however, as, 
an opportunity offering, we annexed his bucket of 
hot water and sponged one another down. We 
discreetly kept out of the way for the rest of the 

When his hair required cutting, Tony was ready 
with scissors and comb. 

At eleven in the morning Rhodes usually had, 
like Bismarck, a flagon of champagne and stout 
or light Pilsener beer, then Pilsener or hock for 
lunch, and with the exception of a gin-and-soda 
sometimes at sundown nothing until dinner, at 
which he drank champagne and a liqueur of 

Tony used to carry supplies of fresh meat, but as 
a rule we shot all we wanted. 

Rhodes was very fond of biltong,^ and would sit 
in his wagonette with biltong and clasp-knife and 
chew it for hours. 

One morning a big piece of biltong he had given 
to me to put away, and which I had handed to 
Tony, could not be found, until Tony's wagonette 
was ransacked, and it was unearthed from amongst 
pots and pans and what nots. Rhodes grabbed 
hold of it, and taking his seat opposite me said, to 
my amusement, " Now you shan't have any of this, 
as a punishment." 

He had a dread of losing himself in the veld, 
and would not go a quarter of a mile from the 
road by himself. He seemed to have no " bump 
of locality." He insisted on one of us being near 
him when out shooting in bush country. 

* Biltong^dTied venison or beef. American — "jerked meat." 

286 RHODES^S DAILY LIFE [cH. xiii 

As we were driving along one morning, we saw 
a big flock of guinea-fowl just off the road at the 
foot of a little kopje. We grabbed our guns and 
jumped out. The guinea-fowl made over the top 
of the kopje, and 1, being by no means anxious to 
be in Rhodes's vicinity while he had a loaded gun 
in his hand, called out that I would go round the 
left side of the kopje if he would take the right. 
But this appealed to him not at all. " You just 
come with me," he said. " Some one has got to 
lead this party, and as Fm the eldest you'll follow 
me." There was no more to be said, but we did 
not get any guinea-fowl. 

On another occasion we were shooting in some 
thick scrub not far from Salisbury. There were 
seven or eight guns placed fairly wide apart, but 
Rhodes insisted on my walking with him. Of 
course it spoiled my sport, nor did he improve 
matters by blowing two charges of No. 6 shot into 
a leopard which he nearly stepped on. Had it 
turned on him he would probably have got a very 
severe mauling. 

On these shoots Grimmer or I used to have 
bets with him as to who would get the biggest 
bag, and it was our great delight to " wipe his eye." 
Once or twice, too, we have deliberately fired right 
across him and produced thunderbolts. 

He always used an old hammer-gun, a sort of 
" Paradox," which took ball and shot in the left 
barrel, but was not rifled. I think he had the gun 
some sixteen years. After his death it was given 
to me by Colonel Frank Rhodes as a memento, 
and is now in my possession. 

1 897] '* STUDY THE MAP'' 287 

During the heat of the day, while on trek, he 
would produce a book and lie under a tree and 
read until he fell asleep. He could not take his 
favourite Gibbon, but carried a pocket " Marcus 
Aurelius," " Plutarch's Lives," Bryce's " American 
Commonwealth," and a volume of Plato's Dia- 
logues (Professor Jowett's edition). 

He also had a large map of Africa, on which 
he scribbled and drew his proposed railway and 
telegraph routes. *' Study the map," he often said. 
" You should always study the map." 

On the veld we often met men who were out 
prospecting or roaming about in the objectless 
way many Rhodesians do, and Rhodes would 
stay and chat to them about their work, and 
invite them to meals with him, or supply 
them with anything he could spare that they 

A prospector had his camp near ours once in 
the veld, and Rhodes's supplies had for once run 
short. The prospector was, however, " dying for 
a drink," and resorted to the expedient of develop- 
ing a dose of fever accompanied by fits of ague. 
Rhodes then produced our last bottle of brandy, 
and the patient's eyes glistened, but not with fever. 
He seized the bottle as if it were the chance of a 
lifetime, and nearly filled a tumbler. " Here, hi 1 " 
said " the Old Man," grabbing the bottle—" that'll 
do." The next morning he went to see how the 
patient was, and although the latter developed a 
fine fit of shivering, quinine and not brandy was 

When at his huts on the Matoppo farms, he felt 


that he was more or less on a holiday. He would 
rise early (sometimes taking a gun) and ride out 
over the farms, or go into the Matoppos. 

Whatever work was going on he would go into 
every detail of and offer suggestions, whether it 
were the building of a new hut or the construction 
of a dam. His suggestions were often impractic- 
able and embarrassing to the man in charge ; but 
he would be humoured, and the adoption of his 
suggestions commenced and then changed as soon 
as he had left. 

Two or three friends were nearly always with 
him, and the luncheons and dinners were merry 
parties, as he was usually in good humour, and 
would chaff first one and then the other ; and, as 
he used to say, " shame some energy " into the 
"young men." 

He was never tired of sitting and gazing at the 
Matoppo Hills just across the valley ; and the 
changing lights on them in the early dawn or 
setting sun would rouse enthusiasm in any one. 

Rhodes had a round dining-hut built, which had 
no sides, the roof being supported by bare poles, 
so that while at meals he could view the scenery 
all round. It was in this hut that his coffin lay 
during the night before his burial. 

He insisted on everything on the kopje being 
scrupulously clean and an empty whisky or other 
case kept at the door of each hut for papers, 
matches, etc.; and the sight of empty provision 
tins in his vicinity produced scathing remarks as to 
** pigs " and " wallowing," etc. 


At Groote Schuur 

When he was at Groote Schuur, the place he 
had "created," he was at home. It was all- 
sufficient for him really, as he could leave in his 
library all the disturbing elements of his political 
life, and after a few minutes' ride he could be in 
perfect solitude, communing with his God, with 
the precipitous crags of Table Mountain rising 
behind him and the vast expanse of Hottentots* 
Holland and the ocean at his feet. 

He wandered about the estate a good deal by 
himself; and when he felt disturbed a favourite 
trick of his was to get on to a horse and ride off 
to the slopes of the mountain, which rose directly 
behind the house, and he would alight and lie 
dreaming for hours under the shade of fir or 

It was as well to follow these solitary rides of 
his, as he had a knack of carrying important letters 
or papers with him, and leaving them lying where 
he had dismounted to read them. 

He used, as a rule, to rise very early and go for a 
ride, usually with one or two friends, and then return 
for breakfast ; but sometimes there was some 
important matter he wanted to attend to, and then 
he would send for his secretary at daylight, and 
in his pyjamas pace up and down, either in the 
office or on the back stoep, with a cup of his 
favourite Blantyre coffise, dictating, and then go 
off, throw on his white flannel trousers, and mount 
for his ride. 

When Rhodes started on to anything, he gave 



one no peace until it was finished. In the hours 
of early dawn he has started me off on something, 
and lunch-time has found one still sitting in 
pyjamas driving the pen, while Rhodes would 
come in every now and then with a " Well, how 
are you getting on ? " and a tweak of the ear. 

At other times he would rise at earliest dawn, 
and sit on the back stoep in his favourite big arm- 
chair and watch the mountain crags light up in 
colours of bronze and blue in the rays of the 
rising sun. At this time he would glance through 
the morning papers, but never spent much time 
on them. 

His forenoons were usually spent in Cape Town, 
about six miles off; and he would drive in in his 
Cape cart, and at the offices of the Chartered 
Company transact his official business and return 
to lunch. After lunch at Groote Schuur he 
usually retired to his bedroom with a book or 
several books, and come down about 5 p.m. for 
tea on the back stoep. He liked his tea very 
strong — almost black. 

When the House of Assembly was sitting, how- 
ever, he spent his forenoons at Groote Schuur, and 
drove to Cape Town in the afternoon, coming out 
to dinner and returning afterwards. The secretary 
to the Chartered Company would then bring out 
his official papers to be dealt with before dinner. 

On the back stoep, which was, perhaps, his 
favourite resort, a receptacle was always at hand 
for cigarette and cigar ends, matches, etc., which 
he hated to see lie about. On one occasion a 
visitor chanced to light a pipe and throw the match 


on to the stoep. Rhodes, to the discomfiture of 
the visitor, immediately got up and picked up the 
match, which he solemnly deposited in the proper 
receptacle, and then resumed his seat and the 

He often sat for hours after dinner talking, but 
would now and then play a game of billiards — at 
which, however, he was not much good. He 
played a fair game of pyramids, which was his 
favourite billiard game. Latterly he played bridge, 
but was not a good player. He disliked anything 
like high stakes, though in his old Kimberley days 
he and his associates played " unlimited loo." 

He played a good game of chess, but I never 
knew him to play chess except on board ship, 
when he would play every day throughout the 

Rhodes took an interest in every little thing 
being done on the estate. It has so often been 
said and written of him that he disregarded details, 
but, as a matter of fact, in any matter in which 
he was engaged it would be found that he had, 
before arriving at a decision, thrashed it out to the 
minutest detail. 

As to his work, he was impatient with his letters, 
and one would have to wait for an opportunity of 
getting his instructions upon such as one could not 
deal with oneself. A telegram he would always 
look at at once, and if it were important he would 
reply to it at once. In the middle of luncheon, 
for instance, he would bid one get a telegram-book 
or a note-book, and the wires would be sent off 
before luncheon was resumed. 

292 RHODES'S DAILY LIFE [ch. Xiil 

When he wished to reply to a wire or had been 
discussing some matter on which he had decided to 
telegraph, he would say, " Come now, let us make 
a telegram " — it was a favourite expression of his. 

When he wrote notes or letters himself, he was 
often very careless about spelling, addresses, and 
what not. Witness his spelling in his will, nearly 
all the names of his executors wrongly except, I 
believe, Beit. Grey I have know him spell Gray ; 
Rosebery with two r's, Roseberry ; Michell, 
Mitchell ; Jameson, Jamieson ; Hawksley, Hawk- 
esley ; Milner, Millner. In the clause of his will 
relating to Stead he spells embarrass with one r. 

I have known him write to a titled lady as 

" Dear Mrs. " ; and he once dictated a note for 

me to send to a " Mrs. ," a name I did not 

know, and to my horror I got a very formal reply, 
commencing, "Lady begs to acknowledge, etc." 

At Groote Schuur the guests were, in the main, 
political friends, and the conversation as varied as 
the colours in Joseph's coat. It really was a 
liberal education to listen to the discussions at that 
table. But breakfast, especially Sunday-morning 
breakfast, was the meal, par excellence, of absorb- 
ing interest. If Rhodes had anything he particularly 
wished to talk over quietly with any one he invited 
him to breakfast, and many of his more intimate 
friends used to invite themselves, and the meal was 
served in relays. 

" It is so much better to talk things over quietly 
than quarrelling," he would say. " Come and have 
breakfast with me on Sunday, and we'll go and see 
the lions afterwards." 


It was at Groote Schuur, too, that the mug- 
wumps^ and doubting Thomases were taken in 
hand, and the whole thing was full of amusement 
for the onlooker ; Rhodes holding forth to one or 
two in the dining-room, another conning a lesson 
in the library from Walton, Smartt vigorously- 
punching light into another in the billiard-room, 
while Jameson chaffed a wholesome idea of the 
fitness of things into some one else on the back 

Many a plot for the destruction of political 
opponents was hatched between those walls, and 
many a fine clutch of chickens counted what time 
the hen was set upon the eggs. 

Perhaps his principal friends at the Cape were 
the Hon. Sir Edgar Walton, the Hon. Sir Thomas 
Smartt, Judge (Sir John) Buchanan, and his 
medical adviser. Sir Edmund Stevenson. 

Sir Edgar Walton, brother of the late Sir 
Lawson Walton, was proprietor of the " Eastern 
Province Herald," member of the Cape Assembly 
for Port Elizabeth, and became Treasurer- General 
under Dr. Jameson's Premiership. He was an able 
journalist and a brilliant debater. Rhodes called 
him " the best of the bunch," and his presence was 
always welcome at Groote Schuur. 

Dr. T. W. (now Sir Thomas) Smartt was, with 
Rhodes, a member of the Afrikander Bond, and 
has held different offices— Commissioner of Public 
Works, Colonial Secretary, and Secretary for Agri- 

* Mugwump — a name given to the so-called Independent, cleverly 
described as " a political mule without pride of ancestry or hope of 

294 RHODES'S DAILY LIFE [ch. xiii 

culture. Like most Irishmen he was a most 
eloquent speaker. He suffered from a very bad 
and chronic attack of land hunger, and his pet 
hobby was agriculture. Rhodes was very anxious 
for him to see Inyanga, and said it would make his 
mouth water. He visited Rhodes at his huts in 
the Matoppos, and was very enthusiastic about 
the dam. 

Rhodes liked having Sir John Buchanan at 
Groote Schuur. He would discuss all the ques- 
tions of the day with him, and paid deep attention 
to the judge's views. 

Mention must also be made of Sir Pieter Faure, 
who had a house free of rent on the Groote 
Schuur estate. He had held the portfolios of 
Colonial Secretary and Secretary for Agriculture, 
and Rhodes was very fond of the big-hearted 
South African, with strong Imperialist views, who 
was wont to chastise the Bond with scorpions. 

Rhodes did not keep very late hours at Groote 
Schuur — eleven o'clock generally saw him off to 
bed — but he often sat at the dining-table talking 
and smoking innumerable cigarettes until bed- 

His parties were small as a rule, eight to sixteen ; 
but now and then a large luncheon would be given, 
and then tables would be set out on the back and 
side stoeps, and we have had luncheon for over two 
hundred and fifty at times. The custom was kept 
up after Rhodes's death ; and in the absence of the 
executors I once had all the members of a congress 
being held at the Cape, while, I think, the members 
of the visiting Rugby and Association football 

1898] IN LONDON 295 

teams have lively and, I trust, pleasant recollec- 
tions of their luncheons there. 

When at Groote Schuur, he had many invita- 
tions ; but seldom went out, except, perhaps, now 
and then to lunch with some friends like C. D. 
Rudd, who had a place adjoining Groote Schuur. 
He much preferred to have his friends with him, 
and play the part of host rather than a guest 

In London 

When in England, Rhodes naturally spent most 
of his time in London, as his visits were nearly 
always on business. He used at one time to stay 
at Claridge's Hotel ; but later always went to the 
Burlington, in Cork Street, where he had a suite 
of rooms, once a house occupied by the late 
Miss Florence Nightingale, and leading to which 
there is a wonderful old oak staircase. 

In London he kept his habit of rising very early, 
and then rode in the Row with one or two friends, 
clad, as at home, in his white flannel trousers and 
old brown bowler-hat. 

His forenoons and often afternoons were spent 
at the offices of the British South Africa Company 
or De Beers, where he would have piles of matter 
submitted to him which had been collected and 
kept over pending his arrival. 

He was, of course, inundated with invitations to 
luncheons and dinners, and a careful record of his 
engagements had to be kept ; and this was no easy 
matter, as he had a habit of altering them at the 
last moment, and he would get hold of the engage- 

296 RHODES'S DAILY LIFE [cH. xiii 

ment-book and scribble all over it. As a rule, he 
lunched out ; but nearly always dined in his rooms 
with friends whom he had asked " to talk things 
over quietly." 

His private correspondence did not amount to 
much, as letters were kept at Groote Schuur 
to await his return, and my chief duty in London 
was to attend to his engagements. 

The first day I spent with him in London he 
sent me off as his proxy to lunch with his sisters 
in Albion Street. I had never met them, but off 
I went; and as I had no clothes ready, turned 
up in a tweed suit, brown boots, and terai hat, and 
this was the first of many occasions on which I 
had to go off and act as proxy. 

It rather amused me as a rule, but what the 
effect was on the people who expected "the Old 
Man " and had to be content with the secretary, in 
»whom they could only pretend to have the slightest 
interest, may be left to the imagination. 

On one occasion I struck, however, and that 
was when at the last moment he decided to break 
a long-standing engagement to lunch with a dis- 
tinguished politician, and he invited me to go 
instead. I contented myself with calling and 
making his apologies, and then went off and 
attended to my own affairs. 

He often took me to places with him to which 
I had not been invited ; and a day or two after 
we had arrived in England took me to the house 
of a well-known society hostess who had asked 
him to lunch, but who hadn't the least idea of 
my existence. After luncheon I had been speaking 

1898] "AFRICAN SAVAGES'' 297 

to her for a few minutes when he came up, 
and said, " Well, do you find him of a sym- 
pathetic nature ? He was horribly in love on 
the voyage with a woman ten years older than 

It was on the same day, I think, that he intro- 
duced me to a noble duke, and unthinkingly I 
gripped his hand rather hard. He was a slight- 
built man, and turned to Rhodes, wringing his 
hand, and said, " I wish to God, Rhodes, that you 
would not bring these African savages over here. 
He's smashed my fingers." 

Having a good deal of spare time on my hands, 
he used to suggest things for me to see, and in- 
sisted on my doing a sort of tourist's round to 
the Tower, St. Paul's, and Madame Tussaud's, 
all of which my soul abhorred. 

In London Rhodes, to his discomfort, wore the 
conventional frock-coat and silk hat, which always 
looked too small for him. It was wonderful how 
familiar his features were to the passers-by in the 
London streets ; and as we drove to the City, men 
every here and there along the route would touch 
their hats to him. For amusement I returned 
these salutes, and Rhodes turned to me, and said, 
"Here, you know, those people are not bowing 
to you — they are saluting me." 

I said, "Nothing of the sort. They are all 
friends of mine." 

His week-ends he usually spent with some friend 
out of town, or at Miss Louisa Rhodes's at Iver, 
and 1 was generally left to my own devices. 

Although he let one do pretty well what one 

298 KHODES'S DAILY LIFE [ch. xiii 

liked, it annoyed him for one to be out of the way 
when he required anything. 

On one occasion he was going to Tring for the 
week-end, and had arranged to leave at about 
6 p.m. on Saturday, returning on Monday morning. 
I accordingly went off with some friends, and did 
not return to the hotel until Sunday evening, when 
to my astonishment a servant came in, and said, 
"Mr. Rhodes asked for you before he left this 

I replied, " But he was to have gone off yester- 

" Yes," he answered ; " but he was detained last 
night, and left at eight this morning." 

" Well, what happened ? " I asked. 

** Oh, Mr. Rhodes had and and 

with him " (mentioning the names of two B.S.A. 
Co.'s directors), " and told me to go to your 
room and call you, and I came back and told him 
you had not been back since yesterday afternoon." 

" And what did he say ? " inquired I. 

" Oh, he just turned round, and said, * Of course, 
I remember ; he told me he was going to Oxford.' " 

As a matter of fact, I had locked away some 
papers he wanted to take with him, and he must 
have been much annoyed, but he never mentioned 
the matter to me again. 

He was not overfond of theatres, and when he 
did go there usually were complaints of his talking 
audibly all through the piece ; but I think the one 
play he was impressed by was "Julius Caesar," 
produced by Beerbohm Tree in 1898, with his 
own splendid representation of Mark Antony. 


Rhodes always used to speak most enthusi- 
astically of Rannoch Lodge, which he had hired 
from Sir Robert Menzies, with the fishing and 
shooting ; but I never accompanied him to Scot- 
land, nor did I go with him up the Nile, about 
which he used to enthuse, but complain of what 
he called the "desecration of the ruins" by the 
carving and painting of names on them by tourists, 
a practice which he always detested, but which 
was, however, general even in the days of 



The " affair " of the Princess Radziwill is so closely 
connected with Rhodes's last days that I am 
taking them together. It was in 1896 that 
Rhodes was dining at the house of the late Mr. 
Moberly Bell, and next to him at dinner was a 
distinguished-looking woman still preserving traces 
of great beauty. This was the Princess Katherine 
Radziwill, who was destined to play a prominent 
part in the circumstances attending the tragedy 
of Rhodes's death, and who contributed to hasten- 
ing his end. Russian-Poland is full of Radziwills, 
some of them very wealthy. 

Princess Katherine Radziwill was Russian by 
birth, and the widow of a Polish nobleman. A 
son of hers served the British during the Boer 
War. Rhodes was interested in the Princess's 
conversation and her knowledge of South African 
affairs, and there is also no doubt that her title 
impressed him. She had been a lady-in-waiting 
to the German Empress, and had also incidentally 
been in the pay of Bismarck, engaged in his secret 
service. She had all the Russian natural instinct 


1897] A MASCOT 301 

and capacity for intrigue. Rhodes spoke very 
freely to the Princess, and she then told him that 
it was her intention at some future time to proceed 
to Africa, and he expressed the hope that they 
might meet. The Princess had every intention that 
they should meet again. Rhodes next heard of 
the Princess while we were camped on the veld 
on our way to Umtali from Salisbury in 1897. 
I had just received the mail, and Rhodes and Sir 
Charles Metcalfe were amusing themselves working 
out the number of people who would gain a sight 
of the procession on the occasion of the late Queen 
Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Amongst the letters 
was one from the Princess Radziwill, in which she 
referred to their meeting at Moberly Bell's, and 
added that the reason for her writing was that 
she was " blessed or cursed with the gift of second 
sight," and she predicted that within six months 
an attempt would be made upon his life, and she 
besought him to take every precaution. She en- 
closed " as a safeguard " a small gold Russian coin, 
which she said had been given by an old gipsy " to 
my cousin," SkobelefF, and which he wore through 
all his campaigns ; and she cautioned Rhodes 
to keep it as a mascot, which would assuredly 
preserve him from the danger which threatened 
him. Rhodes kept the letter, and asked me to 
put the little coin away carefully; but, I under- 
stand, it has since been lost. I need hardly say 
that her anxiety was groundless, as no attempt 
was ever made on his life. He never anticipated 
nor guarded against any, though his feeling was 
not shared by every one in 1896-7, and although 

302 RHODES'S LAST DAYS [ch. xiv 

he never knew it men were stationed behind 
the big firs in the avenue leading up to Groote 
Schuur when in his Cape cart he used to 
drive in and out from Cape Town at night. He 
would probably have been much annoyed had he 

In 1900 the Princess ascertained the probable 
date of Rhodes's sailing from Southampton, and 
she promptly proceeded there. She had, however, 
to wait for six weeks before Rhodes sailed, as he, 
as usual, put off his departure from week to week. 
At last, however, he embarked on June 18 (signi- 
ficant date) ; and the first night out, while seated 
at dinner at a small table in the corner of the 
saloon, one of which was always reserved for his 
party, the Princess sailed into the saloon, came 
straight to Rhodes's table, and selected a seat. 
In common politeness Rhodes had to consent to 
her forming one of his party, and so she remained 
to the end of the voyage. 

The Princess told Rhodes that she proposed 
doing journalistic work in his interests, and she did 
so, also later on founding a paper called " Greater 
Britain," for which she asked and obtained his 
promise of financial assistance. She took a house 
at the Cape, and quickly got to know people, 
although she was continually in a state of financial 

She formed a great friendship with a Mrs. 
Scholtz, the wife of a well-known medical man, 
who was a great friend of Rhodes, and to a large 
extent in his confidence. 

It was while Rhodes was up country that the 


Princess got into grave financial straits, and got 
Mrs. Scholtz to write to Rhodes for assistance. 

Rhodes thereupon wrote to Mrs. Scholtz 
authorizing her to pay certain debts the Princess 
had incurred, and to give her a sum of money, 
adding at the same time that she could do no good 
in South Africa, and that the money was given her 
on condition that she returned to Europe. 

She faithfully carried out the condition, but as 
Rhodes pathetically said at the trial, " She came 
back again." 

She did not worry Rhodes much on his later 
stay at the Cape when she had returned, except 
that she would frequently arrive at Groote Schuur 
at or just before lunch-time, and announce that she 
had come to lunch. As a rule, Rhodes would see 
her coming up the drive, and either make for his 
bedroom or get to the stable-yard by a back way, 
and drive off to C. D. Rudd's for lunch, leaving 
some one to explain things to the Princess. The 
latter would sometimes feign indignation, and 
declare that she was invited to lunch, and in 
3upport produce a telegram from Mrs. Scholtz — 
" Mr. Rhodes expects you to lunch to-day." These 
telegrams, it was afterwards found, the Princess 
used to send from Cape Town to herself 

I was still far from well, but although I was 
doing " scratch work " only for Rhodes I saw a good 
deal of the Princess, and I am sure she cordially 
hated not only Jourdan, but Grimmer and myself. 

Now and then she would catch Rhodes before he 
could get away, and after lunch would insist upon 
his giving her a personally conducted tour round 

304. RHODES^S LAST DAYS [ch. xiv 

the house. I think Jourdan was about this time 
laid up in hospital for an operation. When Rhodes 
had to take the Princess over the house, he 
invariably signalled for one of us to accompany 
him, as he had a horror of being left alone vi^ith the 
lady, and often to annoy him we would pretend 
not to see his signals of distress. Then we would 
saunter round the house, the " guard " earning 
black looks from the Princess, and she would go 
into every bedroom, none of which Rhodes would 
be induced to cross the threshold of, fearful perhaps 
that she would repeat the experiment of fainting 
on his shoulder, as she once did on board ship. 

Rhodes, in fact, avoided her as much as he 
possibly could, until his departure for England in 

Although he avoided her, at the luncheon table 
he used to talk very freely to her of everything 
that was going on ; and sometimes we were sur- 
prised at the thoughts he gave expression to, 
especially as he knew she was corresponding for 
French and Russian papers. 

I remember well his saying to her that he con- 
sidered that Russia's natural destiny was gradually 
to extend to the shores of the south and absorb 
Manchuria, and he could not understand why some 
Russian statesman did not realize this and actively 
advocate a policy of extension in Manchuria, and 
through Chinese Turkestan and Mongolia. 

Towards the end of 1901 Rhodes's health had 
already begun to decline rapidly, and was the cause 
of his hurrying back to London from Egypt in 


I arrived in London from Salisbury on January 1, 
1902, and I think Rhodes arrived the next day. I 
went down to meet his ship, and there were a few 
others, including Alfred Beit, Maguire, and the 
late Francis Jones, secretary to the Chartered 
Company. To say that I was shocked at Rhodes's 
altered appearance but feebly expresses the feeling 
with which I regarded him, even after the expira- 
tion of a period of only four months. His face 
was bloated, almost swollen, and he was livid 
with a purple tinge in his face, and I realized 
that he was very ill indeed. I mumbled something 
about being glad to see him when I shook hands, 
but I felt too shocked to say much. 

Jourdan was now sent off to the Cape, and 
Rhodes was occupying himself chiefly in nego- 
tiating for the purchase from Sir Robert Affleck of 
Dalham Hall, Newmarket, where he hoped to spin 
out his life in the cooler breezes of the heath. 

The purchase was all but completed, when came 
a bombshell in the shape of a cable from Sir Lewis 
Michell to the effect that the Princess was again 
negotiating bills for large amounts purporting to 
be made by Rhodes. (Michell had cabled in the 
middle of the year that certain forged bills were 
in circulation.) There was a number of bills all 
signed in blank, and those the Princess had offered 
for discount amounted to about £29,000 in all. A 
cable was immediately sent repudiating liability 
and declaring the documents to be forgeries. 

It appears that the Princess had taken certain 
bills to a quondam friend of Rhodes, one T. J. 
Louw, an ex-member of the Legislature, with a 

S06 RHODES'S LAST DAYS [ch. xiv 

view to discounting them. Louw made no 
inquiries, but discounted bills for £4,000, charging 
40 per cent, for doing so. Now, although the 
reports of the trial do not attach any blame to 
Louw, it is hard to imagine that Louw did not 
have doubt about the signature when he charged 
the usurious interest he did. Rhodes's name on a 
bill would be, to the ordinary man, as safe as the 
Rothschilds, which Louw knew as well as any man, 
and good enough security for him to charge a very 
small rate for. As a matter of fact, I don't think 
Rhodes ever signed a bill in his life. He would 
finance himself frequently by overdrawing by 
means of cheques, but his credit was practically 
unlimited. However, Louw, instead of proceeding 
criminally against the Princess, immediately in- 
stituted civil proceedings for the recovery of his 
money, and Rhodes was cabled to to defend the 

His medical advisers and friends strongly op- 
posed his arriving at the Cape in February, which 
is an exceedingly hot month, and he was very 
much averse to going himself. He applied for his 
evidence to be taken on commission, on the ground 
of urgent private affairs, but was informed that this 
could only be arranged on the plea of ill-health. 
This he would not plead, because of the probable 
effect on the market, just as in 1897 he was much 
annoyed that ill-health was given as the reason for 
his absence from the Bulawayo Railway opening 
festivities. Sir Lewis Michell then cabled that 
unless he appeared to defend, judgment would be 
given against him, and he then determined to sail 


for the Cape. " I must go and defend my honour," 
he kept saying, " and I can only do it by upsetting 
the bona-jides of the Princess." " To upset the 
bona-fides of the Princess " Rhodes wanted to 
subpoena Lord Sahsbury and Lady Edward Cecil, as 
the Princess had completely hoodwinked Rhodes 
in regard to interviews she alleged she had had with 
Lord Salisbury on the political situation in South 
Africa, Rhodes's status, and the attitude of " the 
Dutch." She supplied Rhodes, through Jourdan, 
with extracts from her diary, in which records of 
the interviews were kept. " I go," says she in one 
entry (a Sunday), " to Hatfield, and find the family 
are all at church. I walk through the lovely 
grounds slowly to meet them. First comes So-and- 
so and So-and-so, and last of all comes Lord 
Salisbury himself" She goes on to say how she 
joins him, and how they walk together, and stop 
" at the grave of that dear woman, the late Lady 
Salisbury, her friend ! " and talk of her and of 
various matters until " At last, says Lord Salisbury, 
Princess, what about Africa? What is Rhodes 
doing there?" 

Then she goes on to retail the whole of the 
conversation, in which she establishes herself a 
staunch advocate of Rhodes and his policy and 
the hold he has on all sections of the community. 
" But, Lord Salisbury," she reports to have said, 
** is there not a danger of a man like that being 
tempted to play the part of a Washington ? " and 
so on ad lib. Then she naively adds, " I hurry 
home to write all this down before the actual 
words escaped my memory ! " The whole bears 

308 RHODES S LAST DAYS [cH. xiv 

the stamp of truth, but was conclusively proved to 
be a total fabrication and only a product of the 
Princess's fertile imagination. Lady Edward Cecil 
declared emphatically that the alleged interviews 
never took place. 

At this time Rhodes had taken to lying in bed 
until midday, which was very contrary to his 
ordinary habits, and he had given up his early- 
morning rides, although the horses were sent round 
as usual. The horse he usually rode in the park 
he purchased, and we took it to the Cape, and after 
his brother's death Colonel Frank Rhodes took the 
horse back to Dalham. Rhodes became very irrit- 
able and nervous, and was in constant pain. Several 
doctors examined his heart, and strongly impressed 
on me the necessity for his keeping very quiet and 
not being excited, nor having his temper aroused. 
They were trying days, as he was in a continual 
fume when thinking of the Princess. I think he 
was just as much annoyed at being forced to alter 
the arrangements he had made as anything else. 
He made up his mind to sail quite suddenly, and 
on the Friday night before sailing he sent me off 
at midnight to get Bourchier F. Hawksley, Alfred 
Beit, and one or two others whom he wished to 
see. Hawksley came to the Burlington at about 
2 a.m., and they talked for an hour or two. As 
Hawksley turned to leave the room and say good- 
bye, he made some remark which did not meet 
with Rhodes's approval, and he said, "My dear 
Hawksley, you are the most cha-a-arming fellow 
in the world, but you are a y 1." 

We sailed on January 16 or 17 on the " Briton," 

1902] A BAD FALL 309 

Dr. Jameson, Sir Charles Metcalfe, Rhodes, the 
Hon. William Grenfell, and I composing the party. 
The ship was not very crowded, but as we had 
booked so late the only cabins available were below 
the main deck and very hot. Rhodes had a look 
at his, and flew into a rage and went straight 
up on deck. I went up to see what I could do, 
and the chief officer immediately offered to give 
up his own cabin, which was on the boat deck, and, 
with the addition of an electric fan, as cool as any 
part of the ship. Rhodes was immensely pleased 
with the change, and asked me whether the officer 
would be offisnded if he offered him " a present for 
his children." Knowing my officer, I thought to 
myself that he would not mind being offended in 
that way every day of his life, but answered very 
gravely that I thought it was improbable. Rhodes 
made me get his cheque-book, and wrote a cheque 
for £50, with which I went in search of my officer 
friend, and made him " drown the insult." 

The chief officer s cabin, as a rule, has a writing- 
table in it, and one night Rhodes, feeling hot in 
his bunk, cleared the table, and taking the mattress 
out of the bunk he laid it on the table, purposing 
to sleep there, but, of course, the rolling of the 
ship caused the mattress to slide off the slippery 
table, and Rhodes was precipitated on to the deck, 
nearly breaking his nose and injuring his shoulder 
and knee. It is a marvel that he was not killed. 
He felt very sorry for himself for some days 

Rhodes played no chess on this voyage, but he 
played a fair amount of bridge. He got very 


excited several times, especially once when I, 
having dealt, declared " no trumps " and he had a 
very poor hand. He jumped up, rubbing his hands 
up and down his chest, and said, " Now that's 
pluck," thinking only of his own hand. Two or 
three times, when he was losing two rubbers in 
succession and his opponents about to make game, 
he quietly sneaked out and went off to bed ; and 
once, when we were playing the first rubber and 
our opponent put down a " grand slam " hand with 
a hundred aces, he had one look at them, and then 
saying, " Oh, my God, I'm off* to bed ! '' he jumped 
up and left. When playing one night with cards 
that had been used several times, he found himself 
and his partner with twenty-six black cards, his 
opponents, of course, only having red. 

We arrived at Cape Town the day before the 
civil case brought by Louw in connection with 
the bills came up for trial. Rhodes never slept at 
Groote Schuur again, except in death. On the day 
of our arrival he went straight down to a cottage 
at Muizenberg, on the sea about twelve miles from 
his home. It was an unpretentious little place 
enough, and at the time of his death he was 
building a large house next door to it on the lines 
of Groote Schuur. 

Rhodes was very much annoyed to find that 
the " Radziwill papers " ^ had been filed away by 
Jourdan and could not be found, and he told me 
to start at once to find Jourdan. He was a 
hundred miles away, his home being at Worcester. 
It was then about six at night, but I left just 

* Every letter the Princess wrote was carefully preserved. 

1902] LOUW'S CASE 811 

as I was, and managing to get a permit (martial 
law was still in force), I boarded a goods-train 
early next morning, and arrived at Worcester at 
about 11 p.m. I found Jourdan after some diffi- 
culty, gave him the message, and caught a train 
back at midnight, Jourdan following in the morning. 
A telegram would really have brought him sooner, 
but Rhodes would not be satisfied unless I under- 
took to go up to AVorcester and see Jourdan 

Rhodes installed himself in his cottage, and used 
to drive to Groote Schuur and back in his Cape 
cart and in a motor which we had brought with us 
from England. It was a 12-14 h.p. Wolseley, and 
the only car he ever owned, and he was as delighted 
with it as a child with a new toy. The first time 
it went down to Muizenberg I went down in it, 
as Rhodes had sent for me to make a fourth at 
bridge — the others being Metcalfe and Jameson — 
and I arrived very late, as on nearing Muizenberg 
we ran over the head of a small coloured boy, and 
I was delayed in getting a doctor for him. I told 
Rhodes the reason of the delay, and he immedi- 
ately raced off to bed, and next morning early he 
came to my room and said, " I hope you have been 
to see about the boy you murdered." 

Rhodes gave evidence in the action brought by 
Louw for recovery on the bills, and repudiated 
liability, as he denied that the bills bore his 
signature. The verdict accordingly was given in 
his favour. 

Having obtained judgment, he would probably 
have let matters in connection with the bills lie. 

312 RHODES'S LAST DAYS [ch. xiv 

and began to speak of returning to England, but 
the Princess in her turn immediately commenced 
an action against him for payment of the bills. 

I accepted service of the summons at Groote 
Schuur, and then went and saw him in his bed- 

" Damn the woman ! " said he ; " can't she leave 
me alone ? What am I to do about it ? " 

I replied that the only course would be to prose- 
cute the Princess for forging and uttering the bills. 
" No, no," said he. " I don't want to do that. 
It seems like persecuting a woman." 

" Well," I answered, " you have already declared 
the bills to be forgeries, and it is positively the only 
thing you can do." 

"Very well, then," he said after some further 
demur, "go and see about it ; but it does seem like 
persecuting a woman." 

1 accordingly got his legal representative to 
come up, and he drew up an affidavit, which Rhodes 
signed before Mr. Percy de Villiers, son of Sir 
Henry (now Baron) de VilHers, and a warrant was 
issued and the Princess arrested. 

At this time the Princess had taken a cottage at 
Muizenberg, near Rhodes's, and we often passed 
her while driving or motoring on the beach road. 

On one occasion we overtook her near the cottage, 
and Rhodes fancied that she was coming in, where- 
upon he hurried indoors, and turning to me said, 
"You stand at the gate, le Sueur, and don't let 
that woman in, even if you have to use physical 
force to keep her out." She passed, however, with- 
out a glance or sign of recognition. 


The heat was intense that February month, and 
we vainly hoped for a cooling breeze that would 
bring relief to " the Old Man." At Muizenberg 
the nights were more or less cool, but at Groote 
Schuur by day everything was parched and shim- 
mered under the sun's burning rays. The animals 
and birds drooped listlessly, and there was hardly a 
breath of wind sufficient to rustle the leaves of the 
oaks that surround the house, while at night the 
earth exuded the heat it had absorbed by day. 
Rhodes would wander about the house hke a caged 
animal, his clothes all thrown open, his hands thrust 
characteristically inside his trousers, the beads of 
perspiration glistening on his forehead beneath his 
tousled hair as he panted for the breath to sustain 
the life within him, which was ebbing slowly away. 
Into the darkened drawing-room he would go and 
fling himself upon a couch, then would he start up 
and huddle himself up in a chair facing my desk in 
the anteroom used as an office, and anon painfully 
toil upstairs to his bedroom and pace to and fro, 
every now and then stopping at the window which 
gave him that wondrous view of Table Mountain 
that he loved so well, all the time hungrily long- 
ing for the cooling breeze which never came. Then, 
unable to bear more, he would order the motor and 
drive to the cottage at Muizenberg, where he would 
sit and watch the waves roll up almost to his door, 
and dream. 

The Princess was admitted to bail, and retired 
to her cottage at Muizenberg, but resolutely 
declared that she was too ill to appear at the 
preliminary examination, and finally a temporary 

314 RHODES'S LAST DAYS [ch. xiv 

court was held in her cottage. There was an un- 
seemly rush into the place as soon as the magistrate 
entered, of reporters and the public generally, and 
it was an unpleasant duty for me to go on Rhodes's 
orders to hear the proceedings. She sat like a 
tigress at bay, and assumed such an attitude, 
finally pretending to faint, that it was impossible 
to continue the proceedings, and the further hear- 
ing was taken in the Magistrate's Court in Cape 
Town. All this time she used almost daily to 
write long letters to Jameson, Metcalfe, or some 
other friends, and give herself away badly. It is 
impossible to believe that she was not at this time 
suffering from some sort of mental aberration, and 
I am positive that she suffered from delusions, in 
which she had perfect faith. 

Dr. Scholtz gave evidence, and stood in the wit- 
ness-box looking very ill. He did not give evidence, 
however, at the main trial, as he died of pneumonia 
before the case came before the High Court. 
Rhodes's death also occurred before the trial, and 
the evidence given by him and Dr. Scholtz at the 
preliminary examination was " declared " to in the 
High Court, 

When attending the court to give evidence, 
Rhodes drove in by cart, and remained sitting in 
the cart until his presence in court was required. 
Instead of going to a club to lunch he would take 
a packet of sandwiches and a medicine bottle of 

The Princess was committed to take her trial at 
the High Court, and was arraigned and sentenced to 
eighteen months' hard labour. She brazened things 


out to the end, and made herself very unpleasant in 
gaol — so much so that they were glad to see the 
end of her. 

After her release, which she obtained before the 
expiration of her full term of imprisonment on 
condition that she left the country, she commenced 
an action for damages against the Rhodes Trustees 
for £400,000 damages, and altogether the circum- 
stances point to a condition of mental aberration. 

The giving of evidence at the preliminary ex- 
amination of the Princess seemed to have severely 
taxed Rhodes's strength, and he became weaker 
and weaker day by day, until it was clear to Dr. 
Stevenson and Dr. Jameson that no hope remained. 

" All right — then send for Michell," was his 
remark when Jameson, some weeks prior to his 
death, told him that the end was near. He had 
been sticking to his room at Muizenberg more and 
more for those last few days, and about then he 
took to his bed. The nature of his ailment made it 
impossible for him to lie down, so he sat upon the 
edge of his bed, his hands usually under his thighs 
and his back resting against a broad band that was 
stretched lengthwise along the bed. To try and 
cool the air an extra window was knocked through 
the wall and a couple of holes were cut in the ceiling, 
above which were placed tins containing ice, and 
a punkah was rigged up over his head and kept 
going day and night. He wanted Sir Lewis 
Michell in order that an addition might be made 
to his will, and to give him some instructions as an 
executor ; and there is no doubt that he knew weeks 
before the end came that the final dissolution was 

316 RHODES^S LAST DAYS [cH. xiv 

near. He made no complaint, but sat dozing on 
the bedside, and now and again his head would fall 
forward, and he would start up with a jerk. He 
preserved an interest in what was going on, and 
insisted on letters being read to him. He had 
written to London recommending Jameson's ap- 
pointment as a director of the Imperial Cold 
Storage, and had told me that when the reply came 
I was not to show it to Jameson, but to bring it to 
him. The managing director replied that he did 
not consider the appointment desirable. I asked 
Jameson whether I ought to show it to Rhodes, and 
I gave it to him to read. Jameson was furious, 
and, strange to say, Rhodes just then asked for it, 
and was, if possible, angrier at my having shown 
it to Jameson than he was at the objection to the 
appointment — just for fear of hurting Jameson's 
feelings. It is an extraordinary thing that, in view 
of the years of friendship between the two men, 
Rhodes did not make Jameson one of his executors 
until March 12, 1902, a fortnight before his death. 
During these last weeks there were numbers of 
callers, but only very few saw him. The Arch- 
bishop of Cape Town, who had seen him and had 
a long talk at Groote Schuur a little while before, 
asked whether he would like to see him, but Rhodes 
did not feel equal to it. 

Rhodes also insisted on seeing the evening paper, 
in which he would, however, merely glance at the 
day's bulletin regarding himself. It was deemed 
inadvisable for him to see the ordinary alarming 
notices, and a special issue was therefore struck off 
for him, in which the bulletin merely stated that 


" Mr. Rhodes had passed a somewhat restless 
night," and added a few commonplaces. He 
became more helpless later on, when his legs 
became dropsical, and silver tubes were inserted to 
draw the fluid off. An oxygen generator was fitted 
up at the cottage, and a cylinder was kept at the 
bedside, which assisted in preserving the spark of 
life. There were present nearly the whole of the 
time Dr. Jameson, Dr. Smartt, Dr. Sir Edmund 
Stevenson (his regular medical adviser), Hon.E. H. 
Walton, his brother Elmhirst, J. Grimmer, Jourdan 
and I. Sir William Marriott, P.C., had taken 
rooms at Muizenberg, and used to come to Groote 
Schuur almost daily. Of course, there were 
numbers of callers, but no one was admitted to 
see him, while in the vicinity of the cottage a 
crowd, probably amounting to hundreds, used to 
gather every evening, some in the expectation of 
hearing news, while others possibly came out of 
ordinary curiosity — the lights being kept on all 

When we arrived at the Cape, Grimmer wired 
from Inyanga asking whether he was to come 
down. Rhodes replied telling him to remain 
where he was, but I wired privately to him to 
come with all speed. Not long before Rhodes died 
he expressed a wish to see Grimmer, and I then told 
him that Grimmer would arrive on the following 
day. Always devoted to Grimmer, he was as 
pleased as possible, but pretended to be extremely 
annoyed at my wiring on my own initiative. Until 
his death he hardly allowed Grimmer out of his 
sight. Under his will he left him £10,000, but 

318 RHODES'S LAST DAYS [ch. xiv 

Grimmer did not live long to enjoy it, as he died 
of fever at Caledon a little over two months after 

One morning I was sent by Dr. Jameson in the 
motor-car to get Dr. Stevenson, as Rhodes had 
taken a turn for the worse. Rhodes heard the 
motor, and asked Jameson who was using it. 
Jameson told him it was I, and he got very 
angry, and said, " Tell him he is not to use my 
car. It is m,y car, and not his." He got very 
peevish and irritable, but his moods constantly 
changed. During the whole of this time three old 
coloured servants were in constant attendance on 
him — John Cloete, his coachman, Tony de la Cruz, 
his valet, and George Krieger, one of the house 
servants from Groote Schuur. Early one morning 
Jameson laughingly beckoned me to come and 
look through the window, and there I saw George 
Krieger sitting bolt upright on a stool in front 
of Rhodes, who sat dozing on his bed, his hands 
under his thighs, glaring at George with a grim 
smile on his face. It appeared that George had 
been guilty of some misdemeanour, and as a 
punishment Rhodes made him sit bolt upright in 
front of him for some hours. Every now and then 
George, thinking Rhodes was asleep, essayed to 
Vuietly leave the room, when "the Old Man" 
would stop him, solemnly shaking a finger at him, 
and say, " Sit there — you just sit there." 

He got irritable when he heard us tiptoeing in 
the other rooms, and preferred us to walk about in 
a natural manner. He would call out to know 
what we were doing in the evening, and say, "Why 


don't you play bridge instead of sitting about doing 
nothing ? " 

During Rhodes's last days Jameson was in- 
defatigable, and one marvelled at his endurance. 
He would be with Rhodes for hours, and then 
steal away for a few moments' much-needed rest, 
when Rhodes would miss him, and on his "Where's 
Jameson ? " the doctor would reappear for another 
spell. Towards the end Jameson sometimes almost 
went to sleep where he stood. 

Telegrams of inquiry arrived in shoals. Queen 
Alexandra sent a kind message of sympathy, which 
Rhodes much appreciated. The late " Dick " 
Seddon, Premier of New Zealand, also wired in 
terms of concern, whilst there were hosts of 
messages from all parts of the Empire. 

Rhodes was allowed to have his own way in 
regard to diet and so on during these days. One 
night, towards midnight, he asked for a bottle of 
stout, and I inquired of Jameson whether he should 
have it. " Oh, yes," he replied, " nothing can hurt 
him much now," and he had and seemed to enjoy 
his stout. A fortnight before he died he ate the 
best part of a guinea-fowl and drank a bottle of 
hock at midday. About March 23 he seemed to 
be sinking, but suddenly developed a craving to go 
home to England. (All species of animals, when 
they feel the end approaching, wish to go home to 
die, and so it was with Rhodes.) Feeling that the 
end was near, he became possessed of an intense 
longing to go home, and then it was for Jameson 
to go and tell him that he would be dead before 
he reached the Cape Town docks. For all that he 


clung to the idea, and cabins were reserved on 
the mail steamer the " Saxon," sailing on March 26. 
His cabin was fitted with electric fans, oxygen 
tubes, and refrigerating pipes in readiness for him. 
Strangely enough, on the morning of Wednesday, 
March 26, he rallied considerably — so much so that 
Jourdan and I went up to Groote Schuur, and 
even Sir Edmund Stevenson did not deem it 
necessary to remain at Muizenberg that night. 
Some of us even thought it possible that he might 
be able to undertake the voyage by the " Saxon." 
But a different and a longer voyage was his spirit to 
take that very day, for at a few minutes to six that 
evening Jameson announced to the crowd who 
constantly waited in the vicinity of the cottage 
that he had passed away, conscious to the last, and 
with the words, " So little done, so much to do," 
upon his lips. 

Jourdan and I, at Groote Schuur, received a 
telephonic message a few minutes after six, and 
immediately drove down to Muizenberg, where 
we found at rest, in the stillness of death, the 
remains of him, our benefactor, to whom we owed 
so much. Jameson took us in, in turn, to have a 
last look at him, and for a moment I stood there, 
trying to realize the loss, while Jameson turned 
and fumbled with the window curtains that he 
might hide his own emotion. 



In a small book Mr. W. T. Stead has given an 
account as to Rhodes's intentions regarding the 
disposal of his wealth. His first intention was, 
I believe, to bequeath it to Lord Carnarvon for 
public purposes; then to his secretary, Neville 
Pickering, to whom he had given instructions as 
to the use to be made of it ; then to W. T. Stead, 
for objects contained in private instructions, but 
whose name, owing to ** eccentricity," he removed 
from the list of his executors. He always intended 
that his wealth should be used for *' the betterment 
of the human race," but in his later years he tried 
so to frame his last testamentary disposal of his 
money as to ensure as far as possible that his work 
should be carried on as though he were still aUve, 
and he therefore chose as the executors of his 
wishes men whom he had made acquainted with 
his ideas and ideals, and to whom he could, with 
confidence, give a free hand. While there is a 
provision for carrying out his schemes for the Unking 
up of Cape Town and Cairo by rail and telegraph 
and work for the Union of the South African States, 
22 ^^^ 


the bigger idea pervades the whole document — Le, 
the consoHdation of the Empire and its binding 
together by means of prosperity acquired through 
peaceful commerce — which would be ensured by 
the establishment of a better understanding be- 
tween those nations of the world who controlled 
the world's trade and the powers on the sea, 
at the same time bringing to the dwellers in 
the Over-Sea Dominions a sense of the great- 
ness of the Empire, and perhaps an ambition to 
strive towards the consummation of a great 
ideal — a United British Empire, closely bound 
by the joint cords of commercial interests and 

The last amendments to his will were, I think, 
made by letter from Egypt. He had, he said, made 
sufficient provision for his family, and the bulk 
of his wealth was to go to his scholarships. He 
naturally chose his beloved Oxford as the centre 
in which the scholars were to meet for interchange 
of ideas, and after sojourn in which they would 
retain a sentiment of common interest. Since the 
publication of his will it has been remarked that 
America has, in proportion to what has been 
allotted to the British Empire overseas, too large 
a percentage of scholarships ; and when the idea of 
the universal scholarships first occurred to him, 
upon his being approached for bursaries for the 
South African colleges, he regarded his scholar- 
ships rather as a means of bringing into sympathetic 
bonds the two great Anglo-Saxon nations. An 
Anglo-American combine he rightly regarded as 
a formidable factor, and, perchance, foresaw the 


conclusion of commercial treaties for reciprocal 
benefit as a result of the intercourse of subjects 
of the two nations commenced at Oxford, which 
would ensure to the United Empire her position 
amongst the nations for all time. 

The tie of language he always looked upon as 
a very strong one, and although probably in 1899, 
when he executed the main portion of his will, he 
was satisfied that he laid the foundation for a close 
union between the Mother Country and the Over- 
Sea Dominions and the great Anglo-Saxon races 
which might consummate in a world-wide combine, 
bound by the strong tie of a common language, 
together with a sentiment of common interest 
produced by the sojourn in the same educational 
establishment of the best of the manhood of 
America and the British colonies, in 1901, when 
he executed the codicil allotting five scholarships to 
German students, he had conceived a fresh idea in 
that, by means of the same educational tie, the peace 
of the world, so necessary to extension of com- 
merce, might be assured. By his codicil in 1901 
he provides for scholarships for students of German 
birth, to the end that an understanding may be 
brought about between the three great Powers of 
the world by means of the strongest tie that he can 
conceive — that of educational relations — knowing 
that the existence of such an understanding will 
ensure the peace of the world ; in fact, as he says, 
make war impossible. It is no mere fad for 
securing universal peace that he strives for; but 
the idea underlying the whole is the prevention 
of disturbances which might lead to the disruption 


of the British Empire or the curtailment of a 
prosperity or even expansion based upon peaceful 

The lines upon which the scholars are to 
be selected he carefully lays down. The re- 
cipients of bursaries are to be chosen (1) for their 
literary and scholastic attainments, (2) on account 
of their fondness for outdoor sports, (3) for qualities 
of manliness, courage, and devotion to duty, and 
(4) for moral force of character and instinct of 
leadership. These are the qualities which he 
deems should distinguish those who are destined 
to take the lead in the affairs of their country. 
He said that he hated the snobbishness of the 
" Bene natus, bene vestitus et moderate doctus " 
idea, but he strove after the selection of those 
who promised the best results. It was rather 
the striving after the " mens sana in corpore 
sano^ Then he struck a happy note in leav- 
ing the selection of the last three qualifica- 
tions to the vote of the scholars' schoolfellows. 
He could not do otherwise if he wished to 
avoid the election of the mere bookworm, for 
whom he had no particular fondness. A boy 
at college may be popular amongst his mates 
for a variety of reasons ; but where, as in 
this case, boys are set to select on rules de- 
finitely laid down, the ordinary schoolboy feels 
that he is, as it were, on his honour to choose 
strictly according to the conditions, and as a rule 
will not be swayed by a mere feeling of fondness 
or " chumminess." 

It will, of course, be many years to come before 


the practical results of the scholarships can be 
judged, but that is consonant with much of 
Rhodes's work — the laying of a sound foundation 
upon which the efforts of future generations might 
find a base. 



It was about ten o'clock on the night of 
March 26, 1902, that I drove back to Groote 
Schuur from Muizenberg to prepare for the 
reception of Cecil Rhodes's remains. 

A post-mortem examination, which showed that 
the enlargement of blood-vessels over the heart 
had almost filled the right lung cavity, had been 
made and a mask of his features had been taken. 
The body had been placed in a metal shell 
within a temporary coffin. The front hall at 
Groote Schuur was cleared, and a large table was 
moved to its centre. Then Carter, the steward, 
and I waited for the cortege from Muizenberg. 

The temporary coffin had been brought up to 
Rondebosch by train, and then moved to a hearse 
which was awaiting it. I was standing on the 
front steps at a little after 4 a.m., when I heard 
the sound of horses' hoofs, and round the bend of 
the front drive appeared the hearse. Beside it 
walked Major Elmhirst Rhodes, Dr. Jameson, 
Dr. Smartt, Dr. Stevenson, Jack Grimmer, and 
E. H. Walton. 

The effect was weird in the extreme — the semi- 



darkened house with the little group of servants 
standing with bared heads waiting for the pro- 
cession which slowly made its way between the 
great oaks which line the gravelled drive — waiting 
for the master who was coming home for the last 

There was a brilliant full moon that Thursday 
morning before Good Friday, and its rays shining 
through the oak leaves cast a pattern of patches of 
gold and black darkness upon the drive. 

Slowly the hearse approached, no sound being 
heard but the scrunching of the gravel beneath 
the horses' hoofs and the measured tread of the 
little band of mourners, who had now been 
joined by Mrs. K. H. R. Stuart and Mr. Theo. 
Schreiner. Then it stopped before the door, and 
the coffin was borne in and placed upon the table 
in the hall. 

The body was in an ordinary lead-lined shell, and 
the cover, not yet screwed down, was moved so as 
to expose his face ; and so he lay, surrounded by those 
whom in life he best loved to have around him. 
And we all stood, hardly realizing that he was 
indeed gone, nor did any one essay to move until 
the silence was broken by a woman's sob, and 
Mrs. Stuart stepped forward and placed a little 
spray of white flowers upon the coffin. 

Then all went to much-needed rest. 

The following day and Good Friday were full of 
work in connection with preparations for the funeral, 
directions for which were contained in the will. 

Only two or three visitors were permitted to 
see the dead on Thursday. These included 


Mrs. Stuart, Rudyard Kipling, and Mr. Silberbauer, 
who placed his Masonic Regalia in the coffin, and 
the lid was then screwed down. The coffin was 
made in an incredibly short space of time out of 
Matabele native teak, and in it were placed the 
other shells, while it was also lined with lead. 
Full instructions were wired to J. G. McDonald 
at Bulawayo as early as possible for the preparation 
of the grave on the site in the Matoppos selected 
by Rhodes. Dr. Jameson asked me to remain 
on with the estate, and to take charge of all 
Rhodes's papers, and this I was naturally only 
too pleased to do. My time for the next few 
days was very fully occupied, as hundreds and 
hundreds of telegrams, messages, and cards were 
received, and wreaths and all sorts of floral tributes 
arrived positively in tons, until the hall was filled 
with them. On Saturday and Easter Monday 
there was a public lying-in-state at Groote Schuur, 
and on those days a continual stream of people of 
every walk in Ufe passed through the hall from the 
front entrance, and emerging at the back stoep 
spread out over the estate. The number who 
passed through, I believe, exceeded thirty-five 
thousand. Colonel Frank Rhodes, who had been 
cabled for, and Arthur Rhodes arrived on Tuesday, 
and on Wednesday in the little hall we had the 
real funeral service conducted by the Rev. Canon 

At about ten o'clock that night the body was 
taken under an escort of Cape police to the 
Houses of Parliament for the second lying-in-state, 
and we all followed in mourning carriages. 

1902] STATE FUNERAL 329 

The State funeral and procession took place in 
Cape Town at three o'clock of the next day, and 
over the coffin, which was covered with the Union 
Jack which used to hang in the billiard-room at 
Groote Schuur, and which was carried by- 
Mr. E. S. Grogan in his tramp from Cape Town 
to Cairo, the Chartered Company's flag, and a 
white ensign from the Loyal Women's Guild, 
bearing the inscription, "Farewell, Great Heart," 
the Archbishop preached his address from 2 Samuel 
iii. 38 : " Know ye not that there is a prince and a 
great man fallen this day in Israel ? " 

After the service we moved out of the cathedral 
to the strains of the " Dead March " in Saul, and 
so on to the Cape Town railway station, where the 
magnificent train-de-luxe, in the designing of 
which Rhodes had taken so much interest, was 
drawn up covered and draped with black and 
purple emblems of grief, ready to take its first 
journey to the north. It had not been completed 
long, and had been waiting at Salt River works 
until the cessation of hostilities to make its maiden 
journey. Little did Rhodes think that the first 
time the train he had helped to plan ran to his 
North it would bear his earthly remains to their 
lonely resting-place. The platform, like the train 
itself, was draped in black and purple, and over 
the entrance through which the bier passed was 
the inscription, " To live in hearts we leave behind 
is not to die." The old De Beers' car in which he 
had so often travelled had been prepared as a 
funeral car to carry the coffin, and to it the bier 
was borne. The coffin placed in the tjar, a few of 


the chief wreaths were put in with it, such as the 
Queen's, Dr. Jameson's, and his family's. Two 
troopers of the Cape Police, with arms reversed, 
mounted guard over the bier, we all took our 
allotted seats, and the train slowly moved out from 
the platforms crowded with a silent multitude, 
and gradually gathering speed was soon flying on 
its road to the north. And so we started on our 
journey of a week's duration, terminating in the 
kopjes of the Matoppos. 

At every station of any importance we stopped, 
and found a guard-of-honour drawn up, who 
saluted the while the bands played dead marches, 
the cadence of which was ever in our ears. 

At stations and sidings where there were no 
bands, from trumpets and bugles rang out, with 
startling clearness across the lonely vast of the 
" Karoo," the notes of the " Last Post," which 
followed us as we whirled away north in the 

Wreaths and crosses were forthcoming in such 
abundance, that when we got to Worcester there 
was hardly room for more. On every platform 
near which lay town or village mourners of both 
nationalities had crowded to pay a last tribute to 
the mighty dead. North of Beaufort West, where 
we saw General French, the line was flanked at 
short intervals by block-houses ; and as we flew by 
the little garrisons stood to attention, and there 
were few more impressive sights than the sentries 
perched upon the roofs of the little block-houses, 
standing like statues with arms reversed as the 
funeral train rushed by. A pilot engine preceded 


the train from Cape Town to Maf eking, and from 
Modder River to Palapye we were escorted by an 
armoured train with a search-light, which swept 
the veld on each side of the line. 

At Kimberley, which owed so much to Rhodes, 
we stopped for seven hours, during which many 
thousands of people filed by the funeral car, the 
bands playing the *' Dead March " on the railway 

Amongst those we saw amidst the mourners 
was N'jube, Lo Bengula's eldest son. At Vryburg, 
which we reached at nightfall, we were detained 
for the night. The remnants of Methuen's column, 
which had been crushingly defeated a little while 
before by De la Rey, had struggled into the town, 
which was still sniped every night, and it was 
considered unsafe to proceed. Mafeking was the 
last place of any size we stopped at, and here the 
whole population of the town had assembled about 
the railway platforms. 

We reached Bulawayo early on the morning of 
Tuesday, April 8, after having disposed by fire 
of the enormous number of wreaths and other 
floral tributes. The ribbons and cards attached to 
them were carefully preserved. 

At Bulawayo the coffin lay in state throughout 
Tuesday, and the first part of the funeral service, 
which was to be completed in the Matoppos, was 
held in Bulawayo the following day. After the 
procession, which followed the service, the coffin 
was escorted out to Rhodes's huts on his Matoppo 
farm, about eighteen miles from Bulawayo, by 
fifty B.S.A.P. troopers, and there it lay for that 


night. Those attending the ceremony went out 
during the afternoon in coaches, carriages, carts, on 
horseback and bicycles, and even on foot, and on 
the morning of the day of the funeral, Thursday, 
April 10, a mighty concourse had assembled at the 
Hill of " Malindi N zema." 

Jack Grimmer had, to his sorrow, to remain in 
Bulawayo, owing to an attack of fever. There 
was also a congregation of some thousands of 
Matabele, who had come to see the obsequies 
of " Mlamula Mkunzi," who was to be laid so near 
to the resting-place of Umziligazi, the founder of 
their nation. 

The coffin had been drawn by a team of oxen 
to the summit of the kopje, from which Rhodes 
selected his " View of the World," and the grave 
was all prepared to receive his mortal remains. 
After the remainder of the funeral service, 
adjourned from Bulawayo, had been conducted by 
the Bishop of Mashonaland, who also read the 
poem written by Rudyard Kipling for the occasion, 
the coffin was lowered into its bed in the solid 
rock, and the wreaths from the Queen, Dr. Jameson, 
and " his brothers and sisters " were laid upon it, 
and the massive stone slab, upon which was riveted 
the plain brass plate bearing the inscription, " Here 
lie the remains of Cecil John Rhodes," was gently 
settled upon the grave ; then the hymn " Now the 
Labourer's task is O'er " was again sung, and we 
turned to the sound of thousands of Matabele 
warriors shouting, as is their custom, the praises of 
the departed chief, and slowly made our way down 
the hill, leaving him to lie in sleep for all time — 


in the words of Mr. Justice J. G. Kotze, "A 
picture of energy come to rest . . . amid the silent 
Matoppos, with the blue vault of heaven above 
and the massive granite beneath — emblems of his 
lofty inspirations and his solid work." 


Abenthla, 103 

Aborigines Protection Society, 138 
Aden, 138 
Administrator, 147 
Affleck, Sir Robert, 5 ; family- 
tradition, 6 
" African savages," 297 
Afrikander, The, 35, 268 

— Bond, The, 68, 74, 85, 108, 
268, 276; a clever ruse, 69 
Rhodes's association with, 71 
a dangerous instrument, 74 
a race organization, 74 ; pro- 
fessions of loyalty, 75 ; sym- 
pathy with Kruger, 81 ; its 
aims, 270 

— Corps, The, 271 
Ahmed Arabi, 2 
Algoa, 244 
Aliwal North, 76 
Amaholi, 103, 116 
Amakiway 115 
Americans, 44, 45 

— scholarships, 323 
Angonis, 103, 132 
Angora goats imported, 46 
Arabs, imported, 138 ; slave 

traders, 139 
Armstrong, Scout, 117 
Assegai, 110 

Assistance, applications for, 95 
Atbara, 37 
Australia, 86 
Awemba, 139 
Ayrshire Mine, 132 


Babyan, 103, 113; rebels, 116; 
and Queen Victoria, 123 ; in a 
rage, 124 ; and the missionary, 
124 ; at Windsor, 125 

Ba«k-veld Boer, 276 

Bailey, Sir Abe, 90 

Baker, Herbert, 253 

Barkly West, 61, 90 

Barnato, Barnato Isaacs, 9, 58, 
59; death, 18; blackmailed 
and driven to frenzy, 66 

— , Mrs., 19 

"Bastard industries," 89 

Beaconsfield, Lord, 133 

Bechuanaland, 59, 89, 102, 270 ; 
distm-bances, 61 ; proclaimed a 
British Protectorate, 62 ; the 
Cape Commission, 63 ; annex- 
ation, 65 

— Border Police, 115, 224 

— Railways, engines lent to 
Kitchener, 37 

Begging letters, 93 
Beira, 77 

— Railway, 72, 131 

Beit, Alfred, 10, 14, 18, 19, 69, 
102, 132, 135, 228, 305, 308 

Bell, Moberly, 300 

Bembezi, 3 ; fight on, 110 

Berne award, 79 

Bethell, Christopher, 64 

Betyana, 116 

Bilingualism, 272, 276 

BiUiards, 291 

Biltong, 285 

Birmingham Small Arms Com- 
pany, 223 

Bishop's Stortford, 1 

Bismarck, Prince, 28, 285 

Bissett, James, 145 

Blunt, Sir Wilfrid, 46 

"Body Guard, The," 200, 210, 

Boer War, 1881, 88 

, 1899-1902, 3, 37, 57, 214 

Boers, The, 40, 59, 61, 102, 109, 




Bolton, Gambler, 174 
Bombay and Portuguese mer- 
chandise, 78 
Bonga-ing, 14, 104 
Books, 287 

Booth, " General," 38 
Borckenhagen, E., 41 
Botha, Commandant, 226 

— General, 278 

Bower, Sir Graham, 44, 223, 229 
Boyd, Charles, 216 
Bozingwan, 116 

Brailsford, E. Law, 47, 123, 191, 

— Miss Mary, 47 
Brandy excise, 60 

Brazilian Diamond Properties, 11 

Bridge, 291 

British Central Africa, 132 

— East Africa, 40 

— South Africa Company, 44, 46, 
91, 97 ; concession granted, 
14, 104 ; Incorporation, 105 ; 
in Manica, 107 ; Rhodes reap- 
pointed Chairman, 137, 139 

Brussels siding, 214 

Buchanan, Sir John, 293 

Bulawayo, 3, 14, 37, 92, 102, 
104, 107; occupation of, 110; 
Government House, 147 ; boom, 
150 ; opening of railway, 173 

" Bump of locality," 285 

Burlington Hotel, 62, 211 

Burnham, Scout, 117 

Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H., 88 

Canada, 86 

Cannon Street Hotel meeting, 140 

Cape, black blood, 268 ; Govern- 
ment helpless, 83 ; Govern- 
ment and Damaraland, 65 ; 
fear of Rhodes 's power, 71 ; 
Imperial Party, 72 ; in sym- 
pathy with Boers, 83 ; Ministry 
resigns, 73 ; Rhodes's entry 
into politics, 61 

— Boys, 35, 119 

— Colony, 46, 90 

— Dutchmen, 267 

— Railways, 72, 73 

— to Cah-o, 134 

— Town, 61 

— wines, 13 
Carnarvon, Lord, 321 
Carnival, Salisbury, 161 
Carrington, Sir Frederick, 120 
Carter. E. G.. 262, 326 

Cary, Arthur, 110 
Cecil, Lady Edward, 307 
Central Africa, 8 ; danger of loss 
of, 89 

— Diamond Mining Company, 1 1 
Cetywayo, 102 
Chamberlain, J., 72, 234 

— , R., 257 

Charter, a dangerous camp, 158 

— The Royal, 14 

Chartered Company, ^ee British 
South Africa Company 

Chess, 291 

Chikwawa, 133 

Chishawasha, 39 

Churchill, Lord Randolph, 108 

C.I.V. heroes, 37 

Clive, Rhodes compared to, 27, 
30, 33 

Cloete, John, 318 

— Louis, 269 
Codrington, William, 132 
Cold storage, 249 
Colenbrander, John, 104, 120, 126 

— Mrs., 120 
CoUey, A., 252 
Colonial Preference, 89 
Commission (Raid), 128, 130 

— (Delimitation), 107 
Concessions, The Charter, 14 ; 

granted by Lo Bengula, 104 ; 

Gazaland, 105 ; Rennie-Tail- 

your, 105 ; Barotseland, 132 
" Conciliation," 60 
Congo Free State, 40 
Consolidated Goldfields, the, 97, 

136, 219 
Constantia, 13 
Convention of London, 62 

— National, 221 ; breach of, 279 
Correspondence, 98 
Coryndon, R. T., 132, 146, 190, 

193, 269 

— Selby, 192 
Coutinho, 133 
Cowper, Sydney, 63 
Craven, Dr. Walter, 160 
" Creative genius," 45 
Crocodiles, sacred, 147 
Cronje, Commandant, 240 
Currey, H., 190, 192, 269 
Currey, J. B., 192 
Currie, Sir Donald, 33 
Customs Union, 80 

d'Acunha, Tristan, 78 

d' Albuquerque, Alphonso, 78 



Dalham Hall, 3, 6, 6, 256, 305 

Damaraland, 89 

d'Andrade, Ferri, 106 

Daniels and Wilson, 111 

Davis, Major Karri, 228 

Dawson, Alec, 104 

De Beers Car, 144, 145, 188, 329 

Consolidated Mines, Limited, 

8 ; preliminaj-ies for amalgama- 
tion, 9 ; control of diamond 
output, 10 ; amalgamation, 11 ; 
the Board, 1 5 ; secret service, 
17; life governors, 18, 23, 29, 
45 ; agricultural enterprises, 
46, 57, 65 ; safeguarding their 
interests, 65 ; fruit farms, 68 ; 
use of funds, 68 ; nominees in 
Cape Parliament, 68 ; Dyna- 
mite Factory, 69, 70, 97 ; Pre- 
emption in Rhodesia, 135, 136, 
213, 214 

De la Cruz, Antony (see " Tony "), 
21, 43, 144 

De la Goa, 244 

Delagoa Bay, 74 ; negotiations 
to purchase, 77, 80 

De la Rey, General, 331 

" Demons of Ignorance," 273 

de Villiers, Hon. Percy, 312 

— — Baron, 73, 312 
de Waal, D., 108 

de Wet, General Christiaan, 277 

Dhliso, 116 

Diamond industry, 7-10, 65, 69 

Diaries, Rhodes's dislike to, 231 

Diaz, Bartholomew, 78 

Dickens's books, 47 

" Dignity of Labour," 75 

Dinizulu, 102 

"Doctor, The," 16 

Doornkop, " Bobby White's Jour- 
nal," 157 

•' Doppers," 234 

Douglass, Arthur, 82, 84 

Drifts Question, The, 220 

Duke and " a Savage," 297 

Dutch dances, 157 

Dutch East India Company, 243 ; 
treatment of Huguenots, 267 

— in Rhodesia, 59 

— Reformed Church, 68 

— The, 266; wine farmers, 60; 
diplomacy, 94 ; and gold farms, 
218; the "chosen people of 
God," 273; "The salt of the 
Earth," 273; likeness for 
Rhodes, 274 ; slimness, 276 

Dutchman, and cheek, 93 


Edward VII., H.M. King, 42 

Edwards, Sam, 104 

Egypt, 136; "scuttling out of," 

88 ; suggested evacuation of, 89 
Eldorado Mine, 132 
Electioneering methods, 69 
Enkeldoorn, 128 ; a " bucksail 

dance," 157 
Enterprise District, 155 
" Equal Rights," 60-76 
Escombe, Hon. Sir H., 174, 210 
Exeter Hall " Faddists." 76, 138 

Fairbairn, 104 

FairUght, 4 

Faku, 116-17 

Farms, 46 

Farrar, Sir Geo., 227 

" Father of the People," 91 

Faure, Su- Pieter, 68, 71, 143, 294 

Federated Empire, 86 

Federation, 87 ; of S.A. States, 

82 ; a cherished ideal, 83 ; 

" Ireland the key," 86 
Ferreira, Col., 109, 271 
Ferreira's Raid, 59 
Fisher, John Hayes, 174 
Floors, diamond, 189 
Forbes, Major, 106, 110, 112, 155 . 
Francistown, 145 
French, General Sir John, 330 
Frost, Sir John, 73 
Fruit-growing, 46 
Fuller, Sir T. E., 16, 44, 71, 82, 

112, 232, 273 
Funeral, Rhodes's, 326 
Fynn, W. D., 213, 238 
— the brothers, 191, 205 

Garlick, John, 111 

Garrett, Edmimd, 201 

Gaul, Bishop, and Rhodes's 

philanthropy, 15 
Gazaland, 102, 105, 163; Moodie 

trek into, 175 
Geelong Mine, 136 
German Emperor, 41 ; telegram 

to Kruger, 74 
German scholarships, 323 
Germany in S.W. Africa, 65, 89, 

Gibbon, 47, 48 
Gladstone, W. E., 86 


Glen Grey Act, " a gentle stimu- 
lus," 75 

Goa, 78, 244 

Goanese, 43 

Gold in Rhodesia, 136, 137 

Gordon, Gen. Charles, 30, 89 ; 
" a roomful of silver," 30 ; 
" Ideas without money," 30 

— Panmure, 49 

Goshen, 61 

Gouveia, 106 

Graaff, Sir D. P. de ViUiers, Bart., 

*' Greater Britain," 302 

Grenfell, Hon. Wm., 32, 309 

Grey, Col. Raleigh, 224 

— , Countess, 120; wonder at 
Rhodes, 127 

— , Earl, 44, 120 ; and the " bump 
of locality," 154 

Grimmer, John R., 20, 94, 120, 
128, 143, 173, 190, 194, 210, 
213, 215, 235, 269, 303, 317, 
326, 332; and a horse, 160; 
legacy, 196; character, 196; 
and Plato, 196; death, 197, 

Grimmer, Dr., 192, 193 

Grogan, E. S., 260 

Grootboom, John, 164; kills my 
horse, 171 ; decamps, 174 

Groote Schuur, 3, 13, 15, 21, 34, 
38, 45, 46, 48, 55, 69, 121, 
289; rebuilding, 131 ; Rhodes's 
home, 243 ; animals, 246 ; 
lions, 248 ; visitors, 248 ; the 
fire, 251 ; frolics, 255 ; the 
flags, 257 ; the " Royal table," 

258 ; *' Bobbie " Burns' statue, 

259 ; Bismarck's portrait, 260 ; 
vandalism, 264 ; lunches, 294 

Gubulawayo, 102 
Gungunhana, 102, 163 
Gunning, Dr., 250 
Gwelo, 112 ; a banquet, 157 

Haarhoff, D., 239 
Harris, Dr. Rutherfoord, 34, 190 
Hatchard & Co., 47, 198, 252 
Hawksley, Bourchier F., 152, 308 
Heany, Maurice, 136 
Herkomer's picture, 49 
Hertzog, General, 277-78 
Hertzogism, 272 
Heymann, Col., 164 
Hicks-Beach, Sir Michael, 136 
High Commissioner, 99, 137 

Hill, James, 82 

Hobbies, 45 

Hofmeyr, Adriaan, 146, 211 

— J. H., 72 ; Cape University 
scheme, 73, 74-81 ; " The 
Mole," 81 

Holi, 117 

Home Rule in Ireland, 86 
Hostess, an anxious, 145 
Hottentots' Holland, 289 
Howe, Lady, 258 
Hoyle, Wm., 188 
Huguenots, French, 266 
Humphreys, A., 252 
Huntley, H. M. G., 52, 153, 191, 


I.D.B. Acts, 17, 65 ; the trapping 

system, 66 ; scapegoats, 66 ; 

unpopularity, 67 ; severity and 

abuse — an indignant judge, 67, 

Illicit diamonds, 17 
Imperial cold storage, 242 

— Federation, 88 

— Government, 62, 137 ; neglect 
to aimex Damaraland, 65 ; 
guarantee, 135 

— Parliament, right of veto, 87 

— Troops, use of, 119-37 
Impi, 102, 103 
Indaba, 121 

Indians in Rhodesia, 111 

Induna, 103 

Industries, Colonial, 89, 90 

Inter-dominion trade, 89 

Inyanga, 45-153; ruins, 166; 
inscription found, 183 ; exca- 
vations, 183 

Ireland, 86-87 

Isaacs, Barnett (see Barnato) 

Isandhlwana, 110 

Iver, 4, 49 

Jabavu, Tengo, 274 

Jacobs, John, 113 

Jameson, Sir Starr (" Dr. Jim "), 
16, 32, 57, 74, 84, 90, 108, 154, 
156, 160, 170, 224, 231, 293, 
309, 316-17, 326 

Jesuit Fathers, 39 

"Johan," 126 

Johannesbm-g, 15, 29 

— Crisis, 2 

— Reformers in gaol, 54 

— "Revolution," 115, 222 



Johnson, Frank, 136 

Johnston, Sir H. H., 89 

Jones, Francis, 305 

Jourdan, PhiUp, 36, 91, 93, 99, 
120, 140, 143, 144, 197, 211, 
212, 213, 216, 234, 239, 269, 
303, 310, 317 

Journals, Rhodes's dislike to, 231 

Juta, Sir Henry, 72 


" Kahn, of Paris," 255 

Kalahari Desert, 146 

Kantole, 116 

Karl Kumalo, 113 

Kaross, 26 

Kekewich, Colonel, 58, 237 

Khama, 55, 102, 104, 129, 145 

Kimberley, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 23, 

24, 31, 43, 46, 57, 67, 191 
Kimberley Mine, 59 

— "Mixed Humanity," 17 

— Siege of, 39, 58 

Kipling, Rudyard, 47, 244, 323, 

Kitchener, Lord, 2, 12, 37 

Kjiight-Bruce, Bishop, 111 

Kotz6, Mr. Justice J. J., 333 

Krieger, George, 318 

Kruger, President S. J. P., 62, 81, 
89, 217, 220, 270, 275; ampu- 
tates his thumb, 33 ; and Ger- 
many, 107 ; claim for damages, 
231 ; gift of lion to, 249 

Klrugerism, 270 

Krugersdorp, " battle " of, 225 

Kumalo, 103 

Kunzi, 156 

Laager, 119, 176 
Labour, from North, 138 

— question, 137 
Labram, 241 
Ladysmith, siege, 238 
Laing, John, 73 

Lake N'gami Trek, 146 
Land settlement, 136 
Lange, E., 194, 267 
Lawley, Lady, 148, 156 

— Sir Arthur, 156, 173, 191 
Laurencedale, 107 
Leonard, James, 273 

Le Sueur, Gordon, 141-4, 152, 
162, 165, 169, 172, 184, 187, 
197, 210-16, 235, 261, 269, 296, 

Letters, 95 

Lewanika, King, 132, 193 J 

Lewis and Marks, 175 

Leyds, Dr., 107, 222, 270 

Liberal Party, 85 

Limpopo, 103 

Lippert, Edward, 105 

Livingstone, 132 

Lo Bengula, 14, 102, 104, 107, 

109, 111, 112; Methods, 103; 

147 ; Envoys to Queen Victoria, 

113, 123 

snuffbox, 258 

sons, 260 

Lobola, 116 

Loch, Lord, 222 

Logan, J. D., 73 

Lo Magondi, 129 

London Convention, 62 

" Long Cecil," 241 

LorenQO Marques, 80 

Louw, T. J., 306 

Loyal Women's Guild, 329 

Lugard, Lady, 201 

Luke xiv. 31 (telegram), 57 


MacArthur, J. H., 226, 227 

Ma^equece, 106, 163 

Machado, Colonel, 78 ; policy o f 

retaliation, 78 
Mackenzie, John, 62, 63 
MacNeUl, Swift, 86 
Madeira, 130 
Maf eking, 115, 146, 214; relief, 

213; storm, 214 ; siege, 238 
Maguire, Rochfort, 12, 86, 102, 

104, 234, 305; visit to Bula- 

wayo, 14 

— Mrs., 140, 234 

Mahdi, the, 37 ; " squaring the," 

Malema, John, 186 
Malindi N'zema, 121, 332 
Malmesbury, 81 
Manicaland, 102, 106, 163 
Mankoroane, 61, 63 
Mantle of Rhodes, 90 
" Map, Study the," 287 
Marais, Stephanus, 63 
Marcus Aurelius, Rhodes's liking 

for, 36,48 
Marks, " Sammie," 90 

— E., 175 

Marriott, Sir William, 317 
Martin, Sir Richard, 102, 137 
Mashomgombi, 156 



Mashonaland, 89, 104 ; expedi- 
tion, 105 
Mashona Rebellion, 129 
Matabele, 29, 89, 102-4, HI, 112, 
116, 155; Rebellion, 3, 33, 60, 
115, 120; war of, 1893, 57, 
109 ; an ill-fated impi, 103 ; 
and Khama, 102 ; manners, 
113; superstitions, 115; mas- 
sacre, 117 ; Indaba, 121 ; peace 
negotiations, 123 ; meeting after 
Rebellion, 154 ; at Groote 
Schuur, 260 ; at funeral, 332 

Matabeleland, annexation, 113 

Matoppos, 26, 33, 45, 52 ; huts, 
54; farms, 113, 116, 148, 153, 
205; funeral, 331 

Mazoe, 160 

McDonald, J. G., 120, 148, 191, 
204, 328 

Melsetter, 169, 271 ; occupation 
of, 1 75 ; attacks by Portu- 
guese, 179; starvation, 180 

Menpes, Mortimer, 49 

Menzies, Sir Robert, 215, 297 . 

Merck, Baron, 77 

Merriman, John X., 71, 73, 192 ; 
wire to Rhodes, 81 

Metcalfe, Sir Charles, 12, 13, 20, 
32, 185, 301, 309 

Methuen, General Lord, 331 

Michell, Sir Lewis, 27, 44, 315; 
and a lion, 1 56 ; cable re Prin- 
cess Radziwill, 305 

Milner, Lord, 12, 84, 183 ; speech 
to Bond, 75 ; visit to Rhodesia, 

Milton, Sir WUliam, 142, 147, 191 

Missions, 39 

Mlimo, The, prophecies, 116; 
supposed killed, 117 

Mochudi, 145 

Monarch Mine, 145 

Montsoia, 61 ; attack on Boers, 

Moodie, Dunbar, 175, 179, 180, 
181 ; death, 182 

Moodie, Thomas, 175 ; death, 179 

— "Trek," 175 

Moodies, the, hardships, 169 

"Moral and Intellectual Dama- 
ges," 231 

Morgen, 113 

Moselikatze. See Umziligazi 

Moshete, 61, 63 

Mother Country and Oversea Do- 
minions, 134 

Mount Hampden, 81, 160 

M'peseni, 260 
M'senga, 139 
M'Shete, 125 
M'tasa, 102, 163 
M'tokos, 155 
M'tyana, 111, 116 
"Mugwump," 82, 293 
Muid (sack), 100 
Muizenberg, 90, 310, 311 
Murchison Falls, 133 
Murray, R. W., 63 


Namaqualand Copper, 68 

Napoleon, 27, 36 

Naples, 216 

Natal, 6, 7 

Nationalist Party (Cape), 277 

Natives, allotment of land, 75 ; 

effort to make them work, 75 ; 

running powers, 183 
Netherlands Railway, 220 
" New Chums," 205 
Newmarket, 5 
Ngongubela, 260 
N'jube, 155, 260, 331 
Nonconformists, 88 
Nooitgedacht, 194 
Norris, J., 262 

North, " A Northern Union," 72 
North-Western Rhodesia, 132 
N'taba zi ka Mambo, 119 
N'taba 'Zinduna, 147 
N'tupusela, 52 
Nyasaland, 133 


Oats, Francis, 68, 145 

Occupation clause, 176 

Ogilvie, Canon, 328 

O'Meara, Major, 237 

" 0ns Land," newspaper, 74 

" Onze Jan " See Hofmeyr, J. 

Oriel College, 6 

Orpen, Joseph, 84 

Oversea Dominions, 86, 88 

Oxford, 6, 8, 97 ; Rhodes's affec- 
tion for, 11 

Paarl, 68 

Palapye, 102 

Palk, Harry, 99, 190, 200, 201 

Parnell, Stuart, 86 

Peace, 323 



Penfold, Captain, 23, 44, 144, 243 

Personal relationa, my, 207 

" Peter Halkett of Mashona- 

land," 114 
Philipson-Stow, F. S., 18 ; op- 
poses Rhodes, 70 
Pickering, Neville, 190, 269, 321 ; 
Rhodes leaves him his wealth, 

— William, 93 
Pickstone, H. E. V., 46 
Pitsani Pothlugo, 115 
Police camps, 283 
Pondoland, 80 ; annexed, 81 
Pondos, the, 60 

Portraits of Rhodes, 49 
Portugal, unjust treatment, 78 

— and Indian Government and 
the Mahratta Railway, 78 

Portuguese, 43, 132 ; attacks on 
Melsetter, 179; Berne award, 
79 ; British assistance, 78 
Bomidary Commission, 1 64 
caimon at Groote Schuur, 256 
Customs Treaty, 79 ; defeat 
at Ma9equece, 1 64 ; difficulties 
in India, 78 ; ejection from 
Melsetter, 180 ; finances, 77 ; 
flag at Groote Schoor, 164, 257 ; 
in Manica, 106, 163 ; Merri- 
man's wire, 81 ; names, 244 ; 
pride in former conquests, 77 

— Government, fear of revolu- 
tion, 78 ; negotiations re Dela- 
goa Bay, 77 

— Minister and Lord Salisbury, 

— Possessions, 78 
Progressive Association, 71 

— Party, 16; Rhodes's leadership, 

Pungwe Falls, 167 

— River, 167 


Queen Alexandra, H.M., 319 
"i'Qweeni," 124 
Queenstown, Cape Colony, 46 
" Queenstown gang," the, 148, 

191, 205 
Queen Victoria, H.M., 258 
Quit-rent on farms, 179 

Raaf, Commandant, 271 
Race-feeling, 81 
Racialism, 276 

Radziwill, Princess Katherine, 
300 ; warns Rhodes, 300 ; joins 
Rhodes, 302 ; asks his assis- 
tance, 303 ; dislike of " body- 
guard," 303 ; sends telegrams 
to herself, 303 ; her diary, 307 ; 
alleged interviews with Lord 
Salisbury, 307 ; brings action 
V. R., 312; arrested, 312; at 
Muizenberg, 312 ; sentenced, 
315 ; released, 316 

Raid, the Jameson, 16, 30, 44, 
81, 149, 223, 229; "tacit 
consent of Imperial Govern- 
ment," 225 

— Commission of Inquiry, 30, 

Report, 154 

Railways, Bechuanaland, 97 
in transit rates, 187 

— Mashonaland, 97 

— opening to Bulawayo, 136 

— Rhodesia, 12 
Rand, The, 217 

— Engineers, 44 

— Produce and Trading Syndi- 
cate, 226 

Rannoch Lodge, 215, 299 
Rates, in transitu, 187 
Rebellion, 91, 118, 149 
" Reformers," quarrels, 224 ; fines, 

Renny-Tailyour, 105 
Republicans, Cape sympathy, 83 
Resident Commissioner, 120, 137 
Rezende, Baron de, 106 
Rhodes, Arthur Montagu, 2, 

328 ; settles at Bulawayo, 3 ; 

"Mlimo," 117 

— Bernard, 2 ; "a loafer," 4 
Rhodes, Cecil John : 

Chapter I 

Reasons for going to Africa, 1, 
2 ; and Arthur's claim, 4 ; 
birth, ability, 6 

Chapteb II 

Arrival in Africa, 7 ; " Africa 
all red," 8; "Barney" Bar- 
nato, 9 ; "A bucket of dia- 
monds," 10; Oxford, 11; de- 
gree of D.C.L., 12 ; early friend- 
ships, 14 ; early philanthropy, 
1 5 ; first meets Jameson, 1 6 ; 
first great work completed, 18 ; 
brutal maimer assumed, 19 



Chapter III 

Personal appearance, 20 ; care- 
less attire, 21 ; "an old coat," 
22 ; " The Old Man," 23 ; 
drinking habit, 24 ; a curious 
habit, 26 ; likeness to Caesars, 
27 ; "a rough-hewn Colossus," 
28 ; determination, 29 ; a 
valiant trencherman, 31 ; " the 
laying hens," 32 ; physical cour- 
age, 33 ; nervousness, 34 ; 
public speaking, 35 ; flattery, 
36 ; and Kitchener, 37 ; re- 
ligion, 38 ; patriotism, 40 ; 
and the German Emperor, 41 ; 
and King Edward VII., 42 ; 
considerate feeling, 43 ; nepot- 
ism, 44 ; faculty of creation, 
45 ; reading, 46 ; his common- 
place book, 48 ; his portraits, 
49 ; and women, 50 ; and 
matrimony, 51 ; his idea of a 
beautiful girl, 52 ; " Who's the 
bride ? " 63 

Chapter IV 

Attention to detail, 56 ; " con- 
ciliatory " methods, 60 

Chapter V 

Entry into Parliament, 61 
first collision with Kruger, 62 
and Sir Charles Warren, 63 
included in Cape Ministry, 65 
purchase of fruit farms, 66 
Prime Minister, 71 ; his dual 
position, 72 ; and Baron de 
Villiers, 72 ; " the dignity of 
labour," 75 ; ** Equal Rights," 
76 ; Delagoa Bay, 77 ; deals 
with the Pondos, 80 ; feels loss 
of friends, 81 ; hopes for sus- 
pension of Cape Constitution, 
83 ; Irish Home Rule, 86 ; 
contribution to Liberal Party 
Funds, 88 ; Tariff Reform, 89 ; 
" Bastard " industries, 90 

Chapter VI 

"Father of the People," 91 
*' What do you want ? " 92 
indiscriminate philanthropy, 93 
lack of discrimination, 94 
as a godfather, 96 ; and gifts 
of money, 97 ; " Le Sueur says 
I can't write English," 100 ; 
his memory, 101 

Chapter VII 

And the North, 102 ; and a 
concessionaire, 105 ; shoots a 
zebra, 108 ; " Peter Halkett," 
114; resignation, 118; taken 
for a trader, 120 ; selects site 
for grave, 121 ; and Umziligazi, 
122 ; and Babyan, 126 ; native 
name, 127 ; in a fight, 128 ; 
" a woman in it," 129 ; "unctu- 
ous rectitude, 130 ; romance, 
131 ; and Codrington, 132 ; 
assists Sir Harry Johnston, 
133; "My North," 134; and 
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, 135; 
despondent, 136 ; confidence in 
gold, 137 ; and the " Faddists," 
138 ; reinstatement, 139 

Chapter VIII 

Drink, 145 ; meets an old 
"mate," 146; "All Homes," 
148 ; his charity, 149 ; as a 
horseman, 151 ; heart attack, 
152 ; at the Indaba, 154 ; flies 
from ladies, 157 ; takes Grim- 
mer's horse, 160 ; hatred of 
display, 151 ; and Dr. Craven, 
162 ; fairly drawn, 165 ; starts 
ailing, 170 ; anxiety for Grim- 
mer, 171 ; outrmis the con- 
stable, 183 ; and a circus, 184 ; 
idea of humoiu-, 186; faculty 
for grasping a situation, 189 

Chapter IX 

Fondness for Neville Pickering, 

192 ; affection for Grimmer, 

193 ; the only man he feared, 
194; and our bills, 198; and 
bets, 199; his hope for me, 
200 ; and a real secretary, 201 ; 
his panacea, 202 ; sympathy, 
208 ; attraction, 209 ; sar- 
casm, 210 ; his letters to me, 
212; in Scotland, 215; in 
Egypt, 216 

Chapter X 

Partnership with Rudd, 217 
buys gold farms in Transvaal 
218; zenith of power, 219 
second collision with Kruger 
221 ; sanctions transfer of B.B 
Police, 224 ; pays Reformers 
fines, 228; resignation, 229 



faith in Jameson, 230 ; horror 
of diaries, 231 ; and the Boer 
War, 234 ; feels importance 
of Transvaal situation, 235 
quarrels with Kekewich, 237 
frightens a Dutchman, 238 
restless for news in Kimberley, 
241 ; suspects spies, 242 

Chapter XI 

Purchases Groote Schuur, 245 ; 
has a narrow escape, 249 ; re- 
builds Groote Schuur, 251 ; 
his pictures, 245 ; and E. S. 
Grogan, 260 ; and Njube, 261 

Chapter XII 

Bhodes and the Dutch, 266 ; 
fondness for South Africans, 
268 ; uses the Bond power, 270 ; 
and Van Wyk, 272 ; on the Veld, 
280 ; a horse deal, 281 ; and a 
storekeeper, 282 ; on the Pohce, 
284 ; and a punishment, 285 ; 
" the bump of locality," 286 ; 
" Study the map," 287 ; love 
for Matoppos, 288 ; at Groote 
Schuur, 289 

Chapter XIII 

Recreations, 291 ; careless 
spelling, 292 ; in London, 295 ; 
consideration, 298 ; enthusi- 
asm about Rannoch, 299 

Chapter XIV 

Last days, 300 ; meets Prin- 
cess Katherine Radziwill, 300 ; 
a mascot, 301 ; sails for Cape 
for last time, 302 ; avoids Prin- 
cess, 304 ; last arrival in Eng- 
land, 305 ; objects to pleading 
ill-health, 306 ; wishes to sub- 
poena Lord Salisbury, 307 ; has 
a bad fall, 309 ; goes to 
Muizenberg, 310 ; " persecut- 
ing a woman," 312 ; upset by 
heat, 313 ; " Send for Michell," 
316; death, 320 

Chapter XV 

His will, 321 ; Imperial idea, 

Chapter XVI 

Last arrival at Groote Schuur, 
327 ; rest in Matoppos, 332 

Rhodes, Edith, 2, 4, 5, 61, 253 

— EUzabeth, 1 

— Elmhirst, 2, 3, 317, 326 

— Ernest, 1, 3, 6 

— " Frank " (Col. Francis), 2, 3, 
6, 37, 54, 223, 328 

— Herbert, 2, 6, 7 

— Louisa, 2, 4, 297 

— Rev. F. W., 1, 2, 4 
Rhodes fruit farms, 69 
Rhodesia, 59, 91 ; proteges of 

influential people, 94 ; and the 
Union, 134 ; self-government, 
137 ; against bilingualism, 279 

"Rhodes's Lambs," 192, 194 

Rinderpest, 117, 129, 149 

Roberts, Lord, 237 

Robinson, Sir Joseph, 64, 217, 
218 ; and Delagoa Bay, 77 

— , Sir Hercules, 44 

Romilly, Lady, 49 

Rooi Grond, 61 

Roos, J., 97 

Rose-Innes, Sir James, 71, 82 ; 
resignation, 73 

Rosmead, Lord, 223 

Ross, Percy, 148, 191, 205; and 
a Scotsman, 20 5j and a bud- 
ding beef -king, *206 ; and a 
Dutchman, 207 

Rothschild, Hon. Evelyn, 140 

— , Hon. Walter, 193 

— , Lord, 58 ; objects to use of 
De Beers funds, 29 ; yields to 
pressure, 30 ; protests, 71 ; 
supports Rhodes in attempt to 
gain Delagoa Bay, 77 

Rothschilds, The, support Rhodes 
in forming De Beers, 10 

R.R.R., 118 

Rudd, C. D., 15, 104, 296; visit 
to Lo Bengula, 14 

Rudd-Rhodes Sjmdicate, 14, 102 

" Russia's Destiny," 304 

Salisbury, 22, 48, 94, 106, 107, 

— Carnival, 161 

— famine prices, 160 
— , Lord, 307 

" Salting," 281 

" Sample of Ale, A," 263 

Sampson, Sir Aubrey Woolls-, 228 

Sauer, Dr. Hans, 120, 204 

— , J. W., 71, 73 

Scanlen, Sir Thomas, 66 



Schermbrucker, Colonel, 269 
Schlichter, Dr., 183 
Schnadhorst, 88 
Scholarships, 321, 322 
Scholtz, Dr., 302, 314 
— , Mrs., 302 
School grants, 68 
Schreiner, Olive, 114 
— ,Theo., 327 
— ,W. P., 73, 81, 220, 231 
Seddon, Richard, 254, 319 
Selous, F. C, 104, 105 
Serpa Pinto, Major, 133 
Shangani, 110 

— River, 104 

— Tragedy, 111 

Shaw, Miss Flora. See Lugard 

Shir6 River, 7, 133 

Siebert, 110 

Sigcau, 80 

Sikhs, 133 

Silberbauer, 328 

Sisters of Nazareth, 38 

Sivewright, Sir James, 71, 187 ; 
assistance to purchase Delagoa 
Bay, 77 ; resignation, 73 

Slave emancipation, 139, 271 

— trade, 133 

— traders, 13^ 

Smartt, Sir Thomas, 72, 75, 84, 

234, 293, 317, 326 
Society of Jesus, 39 
" So little done, so much to do," 

Somabula Forest, 110 
Somabulana, 116 
Soudan, 30 

— Railway, 37 
South Africans, 267 

in Rhodesia, 107 

South African University, 73 
Southey, Sir Richard, 141 
Sprigg, Sir Gordon, 63, 73, 83, 

273 ; emulation of Pitt, 84 ; 
dependence on Rhodes, 82 

" Squaring the Mahdi," 59 

Stanley, H. M., 40 

State funeral, 329 

Stead, W. T., 200, 321 

Stellaland, 61 

Stellenberg, 244 

Stellenbosch, 68, 73, 244 ; dyna- 
mite factory, 69 

Stent, Vere, 120 

Stevenson, Sir Edmund, 293, 317, 

Steyn, ex-President, 277 

Storekeepers, 283 

Stuart, Mrs. K. H. R., 327 

Sultan of Turkey, 46 

— visits Groote Schuur, 261 

Suppliants, 149 

Surface rights in Rhodesia, 105 

Suspension of Cape Constitution, 

83 ; a ridiculous spectacle, 85 
Swazis, 103 

Taal, The, 74, 272, 276; in 
Rhodesia, 279 

Table Mountain, 53, 289 

Tailor's Bill, my, 198 

Tanganyika, 40 

TarijEE Reform, 89 

Tati, 145 ; concession, 104 

Telegrams, famous : Rhodes to 
Kitchener, 37 ; Rhodes to 
C.I. v., 37; Kitchener to 
Rhodes, 37 ; Rhodes to Jame- 
son, 57, 110 ; German Em- 
peror to Kjuger, 74 ; Merriman 
to Rhodes, 81 ; Rhodes to Beit, 
132, 174, 236 ; Jameson to Dr. 
Wolff, 226 

Telegrams of inquiry, 319 

Tembuland, 76 

Tete, 170 

Te Water, Dr., 144 

" The Doctor," 109 

Thompson, F. R., 14, 102, 104 

Tick-bird and rhinoceros, 127 

Tie of language, 323 

Tongoland, 113 

"Tony," 21, 22, 25, 26, 33, 43, 
147, 280, 318 

Transcontinental Telegraph, 41, 
97, 135, 155 

Transvaal, 89 

— British suzerainty, 62 

— Filibusters, 63 

" Treasure Island," 47 
Tsessebe antelope, 186 
Tsetse fly, 178 
Tm-key, Sultan of, 42 
Tyson, Captain, 15 

U'dogetele, 16, 115 
Uganda, 46, 89, 133 
Uitlander, 234 
Uitlanders, the, 221 
Ullaners, 268 
Umfundisi, 155 
Umguza River, 147 
Umlamula M'kunzi, 124 



Umlugulu, 116 

Umshete, 113 

Umtali, 106, 165, 

Umvulaan, 113, 114 

Umziligazi, 102, 103, 111 ; con- 
quest of Matabeleland, 102 ; 
his grave, 121 ; Rhodes 's tri- 
bute, 122 

" Unctuous rectitude," 30, 82, 88, 

Union of Empire, 87 

United British Empire, 322 

United Empire, 85 

Upington, Sir Thomas, G3 

Van der Byl, C. 269 

— , Laurence, 107, 271 
~ , Mrs. John, 243 

Van der Stell, Governor, 244 

Van der Walt, 273 

Van Diemen's Land, 131 

Van Niekerk, Major P., 214. 215, 

Van Wyk, 272 
Venter, W., 108 
Victoria, 105 

— Falls, 103, 131 

— , H.M. Queen, 60, 103 

— Nyanza, 133 

•♦ View of the World," 121, 333 
Voortrekkers, 176, 271 


Walton, Sir Edgar, 72, 293, 317, 

— Sir Lawson, 293 
War, Anglo-Boer, 233 
Warren Expedition, 63 

— , Sir Charles, 9, 63, 271, 272 
Wayside stores, 282 

Weil, Julius, 188 

" Welgelegen," 192 

Wellington, 68 

Wernher, Beit & Co., 14, 101 

Wernher, Sir Julius, 14 

" Westbrooke," 245 

Westminster, control from, for 

Dominions, 86 
Weston-Jervis, Colonel, 235 
White, Hon. Colonel Harry, 145, 

208, 224 
— , Hon. R., 157, 231 
Will, The, 292, 321 
Williams, " Buck," the hangman, 

Williams, Gardner, 9, 44, 144, 217 
Willoughby, Sir John, 224 
Wilson, Alan, HI 
Wilson (and Daniels), 111 
Wilson, Lady Sarah, 258 
Wilson Memorial, 122 
Wilson's last stand, 112 
Witch-doctors, 116 
Witwatersrand, 15, 217 
Wolff, Dr. H. A., 225, 226 
Wolseley, Sir Garnet, 2 
" Woolsack, the," 48 
Worcester, Lord Milner's speech, 

"World's View," 121 
Wyndham, George, 216 

" Young Men," the, 36, 288 
Rhodes and his, 190 

Zambesi, 102, 103, 132 
Zanzibar, 139 

Zebra, Rhodes shoots a, 187 
Zimbabye, 105, 112, 122 






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